The Lily Cafe Weekly Highlights

At Home

A couple weeks ago I ordered and received a couple of books. One was Mystery of the Golden Shells by Jennifer M. Zeiger. My kids really enjoy her choose-your-own-adventure books, so of course I had to get this one for them. My son saw it and immediately walked off with it, the first time he’s ever just taken a book from me. A little later I caught my daughter looking through it for all the pictures. We’ve completed one adventure so far, but, sadly, the poisoner escaped us.

The second book very unexpectedly had me achieving one of my lifelong goals. After having my reviews quoted on author pages, Amazon pages, publisher websites, and even in the Praise section of a book published by one of the Big 5, I decided my next goal would be to have a review quoted on a book cover. I wasn’t particular; front or back would make me happy. Well, the second book I ordered was Merry Arlan: Finding The Heir by Will Soulsby-McCreath, the second in their Guardian Cadet series I’ve fallen in love with. I was shocked and delighted to discover they had quoted my review for the first book on the back cover. Goal: Achieved! Thank you so much, Will! Next goal:…um. I’ll figure it out.

In other news, the weather’s finally warming up, but jumping from winter straight into summer has been kind of a shock. Usually temperatures in the 80s at this time of year feel nice; warm, but not excessive. But after we experienced a dip into the 40s this past winter, bouncing around in the 60s, 70s, and 80s has been…difficult. One day my daughter will wear a summer dress to school. The next day she’s in long sleeves and her jacket. I’m surprised I still haven’t tucked my winter clothes away yet.

My kids have been doing great so far. My son has spring testing next month and my daughter’s been getting to celebrate a lot of birthdays with her classmates. They’ve both got field trips coming up, and a spring performance. I’m a little sad the school year is coming to a close and we’ll go through our final Kindergarten graduation, but I’m also looking forward to having my kids home over the summer because we’re going to do something fun with our summer work and go on something of a treasure hunt. Which I should go work on.

Lastly, my off-blog life has been incredibly busy for the past couple of months, and it’s about to get even crazier probably through the end of summer. Nothing I want to mention yet, but it definitely does not add to my household’s head count (a furry one in the next year isn’t out of the question, though). I’ve been cutting back on my posting this year, and I’ll probably post even less for the next few months, and I promise I will get to responding to comments. It’s just…life is starting to get out of hand and I need to focus on it.

Book Impressions

The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

the wishing game meg shaffer

First Impression: First of all, I adore the cover. A book about a special book and a contest to find it sounds just like a magical adventure to me, but I also think it’ll have a lovely quality to it, kind of dream-like.

Middle Impression: Sorry, too busy reading to put any thoughts down. There’s a game afoot and puzzles to solve, and some childhood magic to reclaim!

Last Impression: It’s been a long time since a book has made me cry. I was in tears almost every time I picked this one up, but they’re tears in a good way. I don’t know what about this that has caught my heart so much, but I loved it. It reminded me of books I read as a child, of the magic I felt every time I picked up a book. It made me feel almost like a child again, and never forced me to grow up. I loved Clock Island, and I wish the books were real. I loved Lucy, because, no matter how pure and noble she felt in her quest to adopt a lost little boy, she felt like a mother, and I would do anything for my kids the same way she would do anything for Christopher. I loved Jack, because he let the adults be kids, and, despite being a few shades beyond quirky, he really had a lovely heart.

The Nameless Restaurant by Tao Wong

the nameless restaurant tao wong

First Impression: I’m not sure. I have no idea what, exactly, this is supposed to be about, but I get food, so it ought to be delicious.

Middle Impression: Absolutely zero idea where this is going. There’s a lot about food and how it’s cooked. It’s about a hard to find restaurant that primarily serves the magical community, so it spends a good deal of time on these different characters.

Last Impression: I really don’t know what this was supposed to be about. It felt like a lot of world building over the course of one dinner service, but it had some interesting lessons and is linked to a previous series, so readers of that one might find this interesting. Otherwise I’m not really sure what this was supposed to be about, but it was interesting and delicious.

Annie’s Apple by John A. Heldt

annies apple john a heldt

First Impression: This is the second in the Second Chance historical fiction series about three elderly siblings from 2022 who jump in a fountain and travel back in time into younger bodies. This one is focused on Annie in the early 1910s. I can’t wait to see which historical events are in this one.

Current Progress: 11%. I love this family, though the time jump from 1906 to 1911 was a little jarring. But I like how the siblings are going through such different experiences, some they’re aware of happening very soon, and this book really started with some good action.

Featured Posts From the Cafe

I’ve cut down on my posting lately, but I particularly like my Why Mephi is My Favorite Creature Companion post, and I think Ratio Baking: Donuts will be quite handy in the future when I get around to making them again. Otherwise I just have reviews for The Bone Shard War and Merry Arlan: Finding The Heir.

That Writing Update

I’m still plodding along with Coming Home. It’s been fun getting to write new scenes and revisit some old ones for reworking. Twenty years ago the idea of rewriting just wasn’t something I could wrap my head around. I already wrote it once. Why would I go back and write it all over again? After taking a detour from writing to go to grad school, have kids, raise said kids, survive a pandemic while teaching two kids at home, I’ve finally made my way back into really writing again, and now I get the rewriting. It’s surprisingly fun. Or maybe it’s because I just feel pulled towards this particular story.

The Queens is chugging along. Ish. I have zero idea what’s going on and where it’s going. There are some vague ideas, but I’m working without an outline, so anticipate things will get very, very messy. But I hope it’ll at least be a little amusing. And at least I’ll have written it so I can work with it later. Right now I feel like I’m trying to pull teeth just getting words on the page because I have a decent grasp on the main characters, but not a great idea of what they’re going to do. But I intend on moving the story along as quickly as I can, especially since I feel like Sisters of String and Glass just kept getting bogged down and it ended up taking far longer than I expected to write it. I do not want to take more than a few months to finish The Queens.

Featured Blog Post

Each week I aim to share my favorite post of the week. This week I adored Your Star Chart to Science Fiction, No Not That Kind of Star Chart from The Quill to Live. Science Fiction is such a big, varied genre, and I suppose it can get a little intimidating because it encompasses so much, from space travel to aliens to the future. I remember falling into it now and then as a teen because I wandered the Science Fiction & Fantasy aisles so much, just looking for something to catch my eye. With online shopping I suppose it’s a little harder to wander the aisles, looking for covers and titles to jump out, and I can see how it might get overwhelming for someone looking for a sci-fi read. Which is why I really liked this post so much. It breaks down a lot of different themes in the genre and recommends a few different reads for each. Now, it’s not an exhaustive list, and I both like and not like how short the lists are, but I do think they’re good starting points.

See you next week, and thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “The Lily Cafe Weekly Highlights

    1. Haha, nope! Unless it’s a furry one. The kids are already deciding what breed our next cat should be.
      We were actually in escrow for a house, but that fell through, so it’s back to the drawing board for us.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It warms my heart that your son walked away with the book! I hope he enjoys it. Golden Shells definitely has a different feel from the other Adventures but my husband loves all the twists and turns from the wild magic, so to each his/her own I guess =)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. He really enjoys your adventure books, so I hope you keep putting them out! One of my favorite things about them is that they’re for readers of all ages, so it’ll be a very long time before he ages out of them, haha. Maybe I can get him into fantasy, too.


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