The Lily Cafe Weekly Highlights – May 5, 2023

At Home

I thought last week was a bit nutty, but turns out even that could be beat. I have both been more absent from this blog than I had planned and literally absent from my home as nearly every day has had errands that needed to be run. And the one day that didn’t? I was so tired from having to get up in the middle of the night to make a special reservation for my son’s birthday this summer. I’m very glad it’s Friday again, but I still have another half week before anything starts to settle back down. I hope. We’re also just 5 weeks from the end of the school year and I am definitely not prepared yet.

This week was capped by family birthdays at both ends with errands to prepare for the latter birthday and errands for a Teacher Appreciation Week gift (I’m a Room Parent so putting together the class gift was my job) in between. Oh, and my kids had a school performance in the middle of all of it. I had hoped to mention this week that we were finally in escrow for a house after more than a year of searching, but, unfortunately, it fell through, so now we’re back to hunting. On the bright side, the weather gave us a reprieve from 90 degree, sunny weather and decided to dump a storm and temperatures in the 60s on us. I am, though, wondering when I can put my winter clothes away. And wondering just how bad fire season will be since it’s delayed this year due to the late rains.

In other news, I’m ready to collapse, but things still need to be done. I’m not making any promises for next week here, but I hope to have something other than Book Highlights go up.

Book Impressions

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.

Middle Impression: Where the first book felt like it was always hurling towards a huge historical moment, this one started with a big one and has WWI looming over its head, but it feels a lot more domestic. It’s focused more on Bill and Cassie becoming parents, and Annie and Paul finding love. I’m enjoying the quieter, slower pace, especially since there are hints of what might come later in the book, and there is a bit of a mystery that has my interest piqued. The fun part, though, is getting a bit of a feel for NYC and high society in 1911.

Last Impression: I never once thought I’d actually love historical fiction, much less an historical fiction series, but I’ve loved these books. I love following the siblings through their ups and downs, family changes, the dilemmas they feel about knowing what’s going to happen, and their sweet romances. While I do enjoy reading about some exciting historical events in 1911 and 1912, including the sinking of a certain ship, I’ve found I mostly enjoy reading about the siblings and their growing family. I love all of them and can’t wait for the next book.

The Galactic Zookeeper’s Guide to Heists and Husbandry by A.C. Huntley

First Impression: Well, the description sounds a little nutty, but after all the sadness from Annie’s Apple I kind of feel like I need funny and silly. I’m hoping this one will deliver. It’ll at least be interesting to read about a two headed llama. Also, how does one transport a large animal through space when one has kidnapped it? I suppose this book will have some interesting answers.

Current Progress: 33%. Well, this definitely doesn’t take itself seriously. At all. Which is nice. But it makes the characters feel kind of like cardboard that no child has bothered to color in (any guesses on one of my daughter’s favorite hobbies these days?). And it’s kind of moving a lot slower than I expected. It’s funny, but all the funny business around going number one and number two is somehow not as funny as it should be. Then again, I do live with an almost 6 year old and an 8 year old, so I think I just might not be the right audience. Unfortunately. Because I do like Fred the two headed llama.

Featured Posts From the Cafe

Well, there can’t be much for a blogging week that wasn’t. I thought getting posts up last week was a challenge. That was easy compared to this week. On the bright side, after much weekend debating, I have managed to get The Curated Bookshelf mostly back up and running. May’s theme is Gardens & Orchards and I’ve featured 100% Organic by James Allinson (fantasy with a friendly dragon and a produce growing contest), The Poison Garden by A.J. Banner (a thriller that messed with my head and involved a deadly plant), and Resembling Lepus by Amanda Kool (a post-dystopian novella about the importance of all life). As for The Queen’s post that was supposed to happen last Friday? Yeah…no.

That Writing Update

So, zero writing has occurred all week, unless you count desperately trying to just get Book Highlights up. This week was super busy and my husband and I were kind of short on sleep for half of it, so we opted to go to bed early a lot and my day time hours had errands. So, no writing. Not even a line in The Queens. I don’t even know what’s going on with that one, anyways. My husband and I have been watching a Chinese historical drama called The Romance of Tiger and Rose and it’s about a scriptwriter who ends up in her own script where her characters are just doing what they want so he asked me if my characters ever do that and what I do about it. Well, this happened with Sisters of String and Glass and is totally happening in The Queens right now, so I kind of laughed and said I go for the ride and then will deal with it during rewrites later. I love my characters, but sometimes they’re just a handful.

Featured Blog Post

Each week I aim to share my favorite post of the week. This week I adored Nicole’s Interview with Andrea Stewart, Author of The Drowning Empire Trilogy. I had a great time reading Nicole’s questions and Stewart’s answers, and the process that went into the trilogy and Stewart’s writing in general. This is a great post for any reader who has loved The Bone Shard Daughter, The Bone Shard Emperor, and The Bone Shard War, or is interested in reading it. I mean, it’s worth it just to read about Mephi, but the whole trilogy is really wonderful, and this interview is a lot of fun and offers some interesting bits on the trilogy and on writing.

See you next week, and thanks for reading!

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