The Lily Cafe Digest #19

I probably say this every time, but I really am looking forward to my blogging break next week!

In my last Digest, I mentioned my kids had completed 3 weeks of school and I complained a bit about the online program our (former) district offered. We’ve now completed 12 weeks of school. It feels like it’s been forever. As much as I enjoy teaching my daughter as we’re doing homeschool preschool, I am exhausted because I’m also stepping in is a learning coach for her older brother. We finally gave up on the online option when we learned his teacher might be quitting (?!) and switched into another online program, so we’re officially no longer in the district we live in. Which leaves us in an interesting situation as we’re also close to two other districts. Where should we send him once he’s fully vaccinated? Maybe by my next Digest I’ll have an answer. For now, I’m fighting with him to do his Language Arts work and all the writing as well as to show his work for math. At the same time my son goes back into the classroom, we’ll be sending our daughter to preschool. I’m going to miss teaching her and giving her the individualized attention she won’t be getting. It’s been so great to watch her learn to write her numbers and letters, start to learn to sound out words, and now we’re starting on simple addition. I’m also thrilled she adores workbooks. Sometimes I have to almost wrangle them out of her hands so she doesn’t finish them too quickly.

In other news, I also mentioned last time that I was approximately 50 followers away from 2000. I don’t know what happened or how it happened, but I experienced something of a bit of surge in followers and now I have over 2000. I’m kind of speechless and just so thankful for all the more than 50 bloggers who decided to follow my blog in the past 7 weeks. I haven’t had much of a chance to check out all of you wonderful new friends, but I can’t wait to start to get to know you soon! A seriously huge thank you!

Really, other than spending most of my days teaching my kids and keeping my household together and functional, my life has been rather boring. I feel like collapsing a lot. Though there was a warehouse fire really close to where I live a couple of weeks ago. There were some explosions (which I didn’t hear) in a suspected marijuana grow operation. All the sirens alerted my kids and I to something, and then we saw some dark smoke. It was a little scary, but also kind of exciting. As I’m writing this, there’s also a police chase going on in my area. They’re chasing a stolen big rig. I’m having a hard time figuring out if this craziness is because of the pandemic or if it’s just LA. I mean, a few months ago, we did have probably the slowest pursuit ever as the driver went super slow on the freeways.

But the most exciting thing for me was getting approved on NetGalley for the next book in my absolute favorite cozy mystery series! I’ve been reading The Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle for over 15 years now. I discovered it just before I went off to college, so they’ve really been with me for just about my entire adult life. Honey Roasted is #19 and comes out late January. I was disappointed when I didn’t get #18 a couple of years ago, and I hadn’t ever been approved for a mystery title from Berkley, so I was surprised and thrilled to get the message yesterday. Of course, I’ll also be getting the published copy next year and will be reading it again. But I really am so thankful for getting this approval!

Well, time for me to curl up like a cat for a week. I hope everyone has a great week. See you mid-November!

Guest Posts

Book Spotlight: Flame Vine by Charles Porter | Book Spotlight: Three Kisses by Heath Daniels | Author Interview: Will Soulsby-McCreath, author of Merry Arlan: Breaking The Curse

The Bookshelf

Book Reviews:

Fantasy and Sci-Fi

tok: magick tale by pablo reig mendoza

A fantasy novel that’s much more than just a fantasy novel Review

the tenant's wrath

A science fiction novel set on another planet and focused on the contentious relationships between landlord and tenant Review

the high mage john ross elliot

A short story about two mages Review

a song of light

The third in the Warrior Bards series that brings the three main characters together in a fantastic way Review

The incredibly emotional and beautifully brutal conclusion to the Tide Child Trilogy Review

miss bennet's dragon m verant

A delightful fantasy retelling of Pride and Prejudice involving dragons Review

A story of witches and finding one’s family and home Review

the craftsman and the wizard joel newlon

A fantasy novel with a ton of heart Review

A witchy Halloween read full of romance and some revenge Review

100% organic james allinson

A new adventure for George The-Friendly Dragon, this one involving a gardening competition Review

A science fiction novel involving time travel and impending motherhood Review

merry arlan breaking the curse will soulsby mccreath

An absolutely incredible fantasy with amazing characters Review

far from the light of heaven tade thompson

A locked room mystery set on a space ship Review

the seventh queen greta kelly

The second in the Warrior Witch Duology with a more mature princess Review

the god of lost words aj hackwith

A bittersweet end to a lovely trilogy all about libraries and books Review

Women’s Fiction/Romance

Sophie Valroux's Paris Stars by Samantha Verant

An absolutely lovely and delicious sequel to The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux Review

Mystery and Thriller

the mother next door by tara laskowski

A thriller fit for Halloween Review


the goodbye song karl kristian flores

A series of stories in a wide variety of formats about being human Review

Life Between the Pages:

First, Middle, and Last Impressions – September 15, 2021 | Top 5 Saturday: Fast Paced Books | Books to Read This Fall | Top 5 Saturday: Illustrated Covers | First, Middle, and Last Impressions – September 29, 2021Indie Books Challenge: September 2021 | Top 5 Saturday: Magical Books | Things I Love and Hate About My Kindle | Top 5 Saturday: Bones on the Cover | First, Middle, and Last Impressions – October 13, 2021 | Top 5 Saturday: Books Set in the Forest | Bookish Confessions: Things On Book Covers I’m Sick Of | Top 5 Saturday: Blood on the Cover | First, Middle, and Last Impressions – October 27, 2021 | Indie Books Challenge: October 2021

Book Blog Tour: 

The Mother Next Door by Tara Laskowski – Review

Catch up on Sisters of String and Glass

Part 61 | Part 62 | Part 63 | Part 64 | Part 65 | Part 66 | Part 67 | Part 68 | Part 69 | Part 70 | Part 71 | Part 72 | Part 73 | Part 74 | Part 75 | Part 76 | Part 77 | Part 78 | Part 79 | Part 80 | Part 81 | Part 82 | Part 83 | Part 84 | Part 85 | Part 86 | Part 87 | Part 88 | Part 89 | Part — | Part 90 | Part 91 | Part 92 | Part 93

Friday Fun

Odd Bits and Pieces | The Liebster Award | The Ancient History Book Tag

Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed from the Blogging Community

This is embarrassingly short because, as both my kids are doing school from home (one homeschooled and one doing online school), I have been insanely short on 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!

Ableist Tropes 101: Desexualisation from Bertie of Luminosity Library –  As always, a thoughtful and insightful post from Bertie! Their series on ableist tropes in fiction has become one my favorites to read. They always make me think and consider the books I read and the things I read a lot more than I did before. Also check out 10 Favourite Books Described With Clickbait Titles. It’s so much fun and now I believe every book requires a clickbait title.

Dorm Room Move-In Moves from Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks – Moving into a dorm was a long time for me, and it’ll be years yet before I do this with my kids, but, apparently dorm living has changed a lot over the years!

Organised Chaos – Flash Fiction from Nopoodles – I think I’ll have to remember this story when my kids turn into messy teens, and then I suppose I’ll start wondering if they’re mages.

What’s Wrong with Boring Characters? from Krysta of Pages Unbound – I’m a boring person and I wouldn’t mind reading more characters like me. So, I’m onboard with celebrating boring characters.

Overused Book Tropes | Let’s Talk Bookish from Literary Lion – I try not to pay attention to tropes when I read, but they’re inevitably there, and I enjoy them to varying degrees. So I really enjoyed this discussion of whether some tropes are overused or not.

A Guide to Reading More from Alli the Book Giraffe – These are such good ideas! There are so many books out there, and so many I want to read, but time always seems to be the problem, doesn’t it? So I really like these ideas from Alli. Some I’ve read before, some I haven’t.

Mike Versus the Devil from Joan Wiley – Joan has started sharing bits of her writing, and I really enjoyed this one! A good reminder to never make a deal with the devil. Also, just a lot of fun to read.

How To Say Nothing in 500 Pages: Hannah Whitten – For the Wolf from Dina of SFF Book Reviews – I think I actually rated this book fairly highly, mostly because I enjoyed the atmosphere and was amused by the mishmash of fairy tales, but I really have to agree with this high detailed and quite amusing review.

NaNoWriDon’t from By Autumn Rain – I feel much the same as Autumn about NaNo. It was fun at first, but, yes, I think it’s better to develop sustainable habits throughout the year instead of spending 30 days pounding out 50,000 words. But good luck to everyone who is attempting it!

29 from Thoughts Stained With Ink – Nicole just recently turned 29 and I love her post reflecting on the past year and what she hopes for the next year. She also has a goal of reaching 1000 followers. Life’s been tough for her lately, so it hasn’t been easy for her to blog, but, when she does, I love everything she writes, so please drop by and give her a follow and help her reach her goal! If you’re interested, she also provides editing services.

I Just Submitted My First College Applications: A Reflection from Emily of Frappes and Fiction – Wow, this took me back quite a few years! It’s kind of nice to know that anti-climatic feeling right after applying hasn’t really changed. And all the best of luck to Emily!

I Bought a Nissan Murano and Everything Went Wrong from Candy Keane of Geek Mamas – Such a crazy, but true story! I have to admit I had a ton of fun reading this, but, still, I couldn’t help thinking that thing must be possessed. What an experience to have!

Most Sincerely, kat

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

6 thoughts on “The Lily Cafe Digest #19

  1. Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but now that I’ve been homeschooling for a few years, I find myself wondering more and more how children manage learn anything in a classroom without one-on-one attention and immediate feedback…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sometimes wonder the same now that I’ve seen how much my youngest has learned, but then I look at my oldest and he’s the complete opposite: he does better when no one pays attention to him. It’s been interesting to see how different children learn.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It doesn’t help that while I was growing up, I was the sort who never listened in class, lol.

        My oldest two children needed very different methods to learn how to read. The artistic one did very well with pictophonics (which isn’t used at all in the public school system), while the other has done much better with traditional phonics — she’s currently teaching herself how to play the piano by ear, so she’s definitely very auditory. Classrooms can’t really customize lesson plans to fit individual needs like that, so I imagine I would have ended up teaching them at home anyway to prevent them from falling behind or getting toxic labels applied to them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Very likely. Everyone likes to pretend the classroom is great for every student, but reality tells a different story. It’s a shame more variety can’t be offered, especially for students whose parents can’t homeschool, but, where we are. at least, our classrooms are just too crowded for anything outside what the state wants. I’m just glad I’m at home and can homeschool if that’s what’s going to be best for my kids.

        Liked by 1 person

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