The Lily Cafe Digest #16

Dear Readers, things are a bit bumpy for me and my family, at least until mid-June, but I’m trying my best to deal with it with as much grace and flexibility as I can.

Last week, my son’s school opened for hybrid learning. It’s meant a shift in when he does his schooling. For now, until he’s either vaccinated or the school has a proven record of keeping the kids safe, we’re keeping him at home. That means his Zoom class is now in the afternoon. During the exact same time I usually get to work on my blog. I anticipate things will be quite slow and haphazard until the school year ends. But it’s just a month and a half left now. I definitely won’t be able to like and comment as I usually do, but I am still reading everyone in my email. I’m stuck using a tablet that hates me while my son uses my computer, so it’s easier for me to read posts through email than in the Reader.

In other news, at the end of this blogging break, my family and I are going back to Disneyland for the first time in almost 2 years! My husband and kids really love it, so, because I love them, I spent 7.5 hours in online queues to get tickets and a reservation for May on April 15th. It was excruciating, especially when the approximate wait time abruptly shifted from “more than an hour” to “Recalculating.” But my daughter loved watching the graphic on the page: a cute little rendition of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad complete with a goat (with a stick of dynamite, I think, but, a few hours in, I kept thinking it was a bottle of alcohol even though I don’t drink – it must have been commiserating with all of us stuck in the queues) and some dino skeletons. I hereby declare I will never ride that thing because I spent about 7.5 hours on it already. Actually, it wasn’t too bad considering people who got in the queue before me spent twice as much time as I did waiting. The bad part came that night when I dreamed about that online queue. Seriously. Never. Again.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention April something marked the 11th anniversary of this blog. Honestly, it was a bit of a surprise. I remember creating this blog in April 2010, but really have no idea what the actual date is. It’s also sometimes hard to celebrate the anniversary since I spent much of those 11 years not really doing much at all with this space, but started back up in earnest in January of 2018. Anyways, My Bookish Bliss and Books Are the New Black were kind enough to tag me for the Blogger Recognition Award and Meet the Book Blogger Tag, respectively. I don’t normally participate in awards and tags, but these seemed like excellent ones to both celebrate my anniversary and help you get to know me a little more. So a big thank you to these two lovely ladies! And, happy anniversary?

Finally, some highlights from the past 6 weeks:

  • after growing more mold than lemon tree seedlings (seeds from my parents’ lemon tree!) using the damp paper towel in a bag in the fridge method, I went with the nature method and stuck a seed in a pot. It’s growing! And not mold!
  • my son is not quite 7 and already has his dad teaching him chemistry. Anyone else ever have to tell their partner they’re not allowed to teach their child how to make explosives?
  • today’s my first allergy shot in an attempt to manage my allergy-induced asthma. Should be interesting. I hate needles. But, as my doctor so neatly put it, I’m “allergic to California.” Yay. (I happen to live in Southern California)

Guest Posts

Pariah’s Lament by Richie Billing – Excerpt | Spotlight: The Secret of Plants in the Environment by Dr. Rishikesh Updadhyay

The Bookshelf

Book Reviews:

Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Songs of Insurrection by JC Kang A Chinese-inspired fantasy with a brewing rebellion Review



The Unbroken by C.L. Clark A North African-inspired fantasy full of political intrigue and the ramifications of colonization Review


Requiem Moon by C. T. Rwizi A sub-Saharan-inspired fantasy, the second in the Scarlet Odyssey series Review


The Code by Peter McAllister A fun sci-fi novel about an AI with a mind of it’s own and the scientists trying to stop him Review


The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers Four generations of women who shouldn’t have existed and a magical circus Review


The Last Shadow Knight by Michael Webb An intriguing fantasy about a boy training to be a knight, and start a business Review



DreamRovers: Price of Deliverance by Christie Valentine Powell A story of people with a special, persecuted ability and the people who fear them Review



Malice by Heather Walter A retelling of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty from the villain’s perspective Review



The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner A magical Jewish-inspired historical fantasy about three sisters Review


The Queen of Izmoroz by Jon Skovron The second book in the Goddess War trilogy featuring siblings on opposite sides Review



The Reincarnationist Papers by D. Eric MaikranzA book about a group of people who remember all of their past lives and the man seeking to join them Review



Women’s Fiction/Romance

The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak Three generations of women who each deal with their lives and secrets one summer Review


Finding Home by Kate Field One woman’s journey into finding her own family and true love Review


The Book of Revelations by Idelle Kursman Two people with a shared past unexpectedly brought back together because of a mysterious blackmailer Review



The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio AxelrodHer life changes when she joins a female rock band and comes face to face with the past Review



Mystery and Thriller

Book Blog Tour: The Third to Die by Allison Brennan The first in the Quinn and Costa Thriller series involving a serial killer in Washington Review


Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan The second in the Quinn and Costa Thriller series involving murder, human trafficking, and business secrets in Arizona Review



The Phone Booth at the Edge of the World by Laura Imai Messina A story haunted by grief, but hope and moving forward as well Review


The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville A haunting magical realism story about a family with a dark past Review


Life Between the Pages:

My First Ever Anticipated Books List | WWW-March 10, 2021 | WWW-March 17, 2021 | WWW-March 24, 2021 | WWW-March 31, 2021 | Indie Books Challenge: March 2021 | The Ladies of the Secret Circus vs. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue | WWW-April 14, 2021 | Books I Read Because of My Name | WWW-April 21, 2021 | WWW-April 28, 2021

Books That Remind Me of Other Books:

The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville | Knight’s Ransom by Jeff Wheeler | The Code by Peter McAllister | The Last Shadow Knight by Michael Webb | Malice by Heather Walter | The Book of Revelations by Idelle Kursman

Book Blog Tour: 

Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan – Review | Summertime Guests by Wendi Francis – Excerpt | The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak – Review

Author Readings:

Tommy Tutalo, author of Esperanza

Catch Up On Queen of the Garden of Girls

Part 63 | Part 64 | Finale: Part 65

Catch up on Sisters of String and Glass

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Enjoy My Ratio Baking Adventures

How to Make Butter Cookies

Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed from the Blogging Community

Typically, I write a brief bit on why I liked each particular post, but, with everything going on lately and just feeling even too exhausted to peruse posts half the time, I’ll instead just be listing them as I don’t want to eliminate this part of my Digests just yet.

#NotAllMen: Actually, It Is (Your Responsibility) from Thoughts Stained With Ink

Rejection Feedback: Love It or Leave It? from Aeryn Rudel’s Rejectomancy

The Definitive Book Blogger List from A Book. A Thought.

How to Promote Diversity in Book Blogging and Publishing|Let’s Talk Bookish from Literary Lion

I Choose Formula from Oh Happy Grey – I may primarily be a book blogger now, but I’m also a mom and this is something I still care deeply about

Dragonlance Week: Interview with Margaret Weis from Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub

Blog Tour//Watch Her Fall – Erin Kelly//#AD-PR from For the Love of Books Blog

Ableist Tropes 101: The Disabled Villain // Discussion from Luminosity Library

Wordy Wednesday from Wordy Witterings

The Scion Suit VN edition from By Autumn Rain

Most Sincerely, kat

You can find a list of all the Digests plus some bloggers I adore over here

5 thoughts on “The Lily Cafe Digest #16

  1. Hey there Kat. Sorry this is coming to you way after the fact. I’m trying to catch up on my blogging friends’ posts. I’m getting there. And, I absolutely love these digests. You pack such a wealth of wonderful information in these posts. I got tickled when I read that your husband has been giving your son Chemistry lessons. My husband hasn’t been teaching my son any school subjects, but he has been getting him involved in a lot of home reno stuff lately. So glad my son doesn’t mind working with his hands. He’s helped saved me from some reno activities here and there, which is so very much appreciated. It’s amazing that we’re close to the end of another school year. I don’t know about you, but I’m totally ready for summer break. You and the family enjoy your time at Disneyland and stay safe.


    1. Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoy the digest! I’m actually a little terrified of what my husband intends on teaching our kids and would rather they pick up renovation projects as that typically doesn’t involve blowing things up. Then again, my husband is not the handiest. But what a good thing for your son to learn! I’m sure he’s a great help right now and will be so handy and capable when he has his own home. It is so hard to believe summer is almost here. I’m very much looking forward to it and taking a more relaxed approach to our days. It’s very badly needed this year! I hope you and your family are doing well!


      1. You’re so funny, Kat. I totally agree with you. The “blowing things up” part wouldn’t make me feel the most comfortable either. And yes, I’m hoping my son will pick up some things here and there and will be able to put those skills to use in his own household one day. He’ll definitely save some money if he can figure out how to do some things on his own. Anyway, my family and I are thankfully doing well on this end. Thanks for thinking of us. Have a blessed rest of your week.


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