The Lily Cafe Digest #18

Every time I post one of these Digests, I just feel a huge sigh of relief. I adore everything about blogging, but taking a break just feels so nice! After the past few weeks my family has had, I definitely need some time to retreat from the Internet and curl up to stare at walls.

Anyways, today completes three weeks of school for both my kids. My oldest is in the online option offered by our district. Let’s just say they did not prepare enough. Or at all, it seemed. The first week was fine, but it completely fell apart in the second week and somehow my son ended up being assigned 3rd grade level work when he’s only just started 2nd. There was also confusion about the teacher, we learned another 10000 students on top of the original 10000 were enrolled, and the independent study program removed all ways of contacting someone there, so we were all adrift. Homeschool preschool for my youngest, though, has gone really well. Of course, that might be because I’m in charge of it all. I really, sincerely wish I had opted to homeschool both kids, and may still do so. My oldest’s school has 6 infections so far, and the district has nothing set up (yet) to ensure students who need to quarantine will be able to continue to learn (one of the two big things that kept me from sending him back). I kind of thought going back into the classroom was supposed to close the learning gap, but I’m not sure how that works when many students have been sent into quarantine with no educational anything to do or learn from…?

And on top of all that our front door lock broke. It’s fixed, but, geez.

I tried so hard to keep up with everything here, but, at some point, I just gave up. I think I’ll have to continue to just give up so I don’t stress myself out more than I already am, but I’m really hoping to get my family into a good, functioning schedule soon.

On the bright side, I’m somehow less than 50 followers away from 2000?! Honestly, I stopped paying attention after somewhere around 1200, but I’ve been putting together my stats to send with my ARC requests to publishers, so happened to notice I’m somehow getting close to 2000 followers here. I’m kind of speechless and can’t say a big enough thank you to everyone who has followed me. It means so much to me!

And…that’s where my life is at right now. One thing after another. I really need to curl up and stare at walls. I’ll see all of you again in a little over a week!

Guest Posts

Novel Excerpt: The Unbroken by J.J. Hernandez

The Bookshelf

Book Reviews:

Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Lost on a Page by David E. SharpAn ambitious attempt to have characters from different books jump into books of different genres in order to escape to have a word with their authors (Review)



We Have Always Been Here by Lena NguyenA creepy science fiction psychological thriller about a crew of humans and androids examining a strange planet for possible colonization (Review)



The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray by O.R. SimmondsA fun romp through time as one man and his new friend jump back and forth to protect a special watch and find his girlfriend (Review)




The outlands by tyler edwardsA YA sci-fi story about one young man trying to change the system (Review)




the chickpea chronicles 1 and 2A humorous start to a series full of satire about a decent dragon and his move to People Town (Review)




legacy of lightThe incredible conclusion to a bloody trilogy full of politics, magic, family, and attempts to do what’s right (Review)



wildwood whispersA fantastic truly witchy read full of magic in a small mountain town about finding one’s place and the importance of revering nature (Review)



ReclaimedA creepy science fiction psychological thriller about three people who want to remove traumatic memories (Review)



shackles of the stormA fantasy novel teaming up a djinn without her magic and a mercenary as they evade a dangerous water djinn in the desert (Review)



verena's whistle k. panikianA fun, fast-paced urban fantasy featuring monsters, magic, and Russian and Slavic mythology (Review)



Women’s Fiction/Romance

battle royal by Lucy ParkerA delicious enemies to lovers story about rival bakers competing to make a royal wedding cake (Review)



Mystery and Thriller

Such a Quiet Place by Megan MirandaA domestic thriller set in a small community that’s shaken when one of their own who had been convicted of murder is acquitted and returns to the scene of the crime (Review)



The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin MillerThree trophy wives in an exclusive community whose lives become entangled, and one of them might be a murderer (Review)



where i left her by amber garzaA thrilling novel about a mother-daughter relationship when the mother’s teen daughter goes missing and secrets begin to unravel (Review)



murder at the town hallA delightfully delicious cozy mystery, the third in the series, with food, a grumpy cat, and a sweet romance (also check out a fun new way I devised to write my book reviews) (Review)



To Walk Alone in the Crowd by Antonio Munoz MolinaOne man wandering the streets of Madrid and NYC, collecting human experiences and the things he sees and reads (Review)




on home becca spence dobiasA story about three generations of women from the same family and their different journeys into motherhood (Review)




note to boy sue clarkA fun story about a friendship between a teen boy and a former fashion icon, but not exactly heartwarming (Review)

Life Between the Pages:

First, Middle, and Last Impressions – July 21, 2021 | Indie Books Challenge July 2021 | First, Middle, and Last Impressions – August 4, 2021 | Why I Don’t Read Outside My Comfort Zone | First, Middle, and Last Impressions – August 18, 2021 | It’s That Time – Jennifer M. Zeiger’s novel Discarded Dragons has now been published! | First, Middle, and Last Impressions – September 1, 2021

Author Readings:

Grendolyn Peach Soleil, author of The Mermaids Melt at Dawn | Jana Williams, author of Playground Instruction for the Growing Adult

Book Blog Tour: 

Where I Left Her by Amber Garza – Review

Catch up on Sisters of String and Glass

Part 24 | Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 | Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 | Part 31 | Part 32 | Part 33 | Part 34 | Part 35 | Part 36 | Part 37 | Part 38 | Part 39 | Part 40 | Part 41 | Part 42 | Part 43 | Part 44 | Part 45 | Part 46 | Part 47 | Part 48 | Part 49 | Part 50 | Part 51 | Part 52 | Part 53 | Part 54| Part 55 | Part 56 | Part 57 | Part 58 | Part 59 | Part 60

Writing Files

From Planner to Pantser

Friday Fun

My Son Made a Board Game | Welcome to My Reading, Writing, ‘Rithmetic Blog! | Round 2 of School at Home | The Sunshine Blogger Award | The Bookworm’s Book Tag

Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed from the Blogging Community

This is embarrassingly short because, as both my kids started school three weeks ago and are both doing it from home, I have been insanely short of time. I tried to read as many blogs as I could, but have definitely had a hard time keeping up. I’m so sorry I’m not sharing more because there are so many incredible posts out there that I loved!

Sci-Fi Tropes: Cryosleep, Unhinged AI, and everything in between from The Bookish Mutant: This is such a fun post! I’m used to seeing posts about fantasy and romance tropes, but haven’t before seen one about sci-fi tropes, so this was absolutely a fun post to read.

Social Media: Or, the Lack of Boundaries, Safety, and Nuance from Thoughts Stained With Ink: Once again, Nicole presents an incredible post I loved! This one is about social media making it easier for readers to connect with authors, but with that comes a whole can of worms, and some of it can be quite toxic and hurtful to authors. Thank goodness there are people like Nicole who will defend the authors!

Trigger Warning: Trigger Warnings | Why I Don’t Use Trigger Warnings In My Reviews from Frappes and Fiction: I love this! I don’t use trigger warnings unless something comes out of left field for the exact reasons Emily outlined.

10 Unconventional Beach Reads for Horror, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi Lovers from Luminosity Library: With Labor Day weekend on us here in the States, it’s the perfect time to grab one of these reads and enjoy them on a beach! Or just anytime. Many of these are definitely not ones that made me think they’re beach reads, but, yet, they also kind of are?

The Dark Side of Being a YA Author: Piracy, Pay, and Cancel Culture from A Fictional Bookworm: I don’t read YA, but I can certainly sympathize with how difficult it is to be an author in any genre. This was definitely a very interesting read!

Endangered Species – Flash Fiction from Nopoodles: I adore Nopoodles’ stories, and this one really tickled me! Stories like this one always make me consider things in fantasy stories a little differently and, honestly, this one produced a much needed laugh, and maybe it can do the same for you.

Undercover LGBTQ+ Books for Closeted Readers from The Bookish Mutant: With more and more people strongly voicing their opinions on everything from both sides, this is such a good list! And I really think this, and others like it, can really help readers who need to feel accepted at least while reading a book.

Most Sincerely, kat

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

11 thoughts on “The Lily Cafe Digest #18

  1. In our small area they screwed up the cyber learning too. These schools have had 18 months to figure this out. What in the world is the deal already? I am glad that we are homeschooling without a connection to a school this year. We don’t have to wait to get our work done. Did you mean your son has had six infections in three weeks? That doesnt sound good! I hope he feels better soon and things get smoother with school.


  2. Hey there Kat – sounds like it’s been a completely challenging start to the school year for your household. A lot of us are going through these uncertainties of the times with what to do educationally for our children. I guess we simply do the best we can. And curling up and staring at the walls is totally needed from time to time. Hee! Hee! Anyway, hang in there. Hopefully, things will smooth out sooner rather than later. Also, congratulations on the growth of your blog. You’ve certainly worked for it, dear lady. Here’s to 2000 more subscribers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jana! I always appreciate your support so much! It’s definitely been an interesting start to the school year, but, thankfully, things are starting to get sorted out. I think. I hope the start to yours has been going well. I read in your newsletter your son has a small in-person part to his school days. It sounds a little terrifying, but I hope it’s going well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I’m so glad to hear things are getting better. Time usually has a way of ironing things out. And yes, it is pretty unnerving with my son having some in-person schooling. (Thanks for checking out the email newsletter the other day.) They have the children mask up and keep the class attendance staggered and smaller. But, you know how that goes. I’m actually hoping that maybe (just maybe) it will be changed to completely virtual eventually. But, I don’t want children to become sick for that to have to happen. Agghrr! We live in some perilous and unprecedented times. That’s for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’d like for everything to switch back to virtual only; it’s such a safer option for children whether they’re vaccinated or not. I just can’t imagine how comfortable it would be for kids to wear masks the whole school day when adults complain about how stifling and painful it can be to wear them. But I also hope children don’t become too sick. There are so many hard choices these days, but I hope we all come out stronger and wiser, and our children are as unscathed as possible.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I agree with you 100%. I’m all for the totally virtual option for my son, even though it’s not working out to be that way this year. I also know that others may not feel that virtual schooling is the best option for their households. And like you said, hard choices are being made in the educational realm every day. What perilous times we live in. All in all, the welfare of the children should be the number one priority. I definitely have no shortage of things to pray about. That’s for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

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