• Book Review: Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim - a delightful women's fiction novel set partially in Paris

    Book Review: Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim

    Title: Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop Author: Roselle Lim Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group Publication date: August 4, 2020 Genre: General Fiction Summary: Just like her Aunt Evelyn, Vanessa can see people’s future just by looking at their drink. Believing herself to be cursed, especially since fortune tellers are destined to never marry, she has spent her life suppressing her abilities. Until one prediction rattles her and Evelyn whisks her away to Paris so she can teach her while she opens her new tea shop. Vanessa has never felt more cursed than when she meets charming Marc Santos, who shows her the city and the food. If only she can get her gift under control. Or…

  • Book Review: Requiem, Changing Times by R. J. Parker - a fantasy novel involving fantasy creatures coming to our reality

    Book Review: Requiem, Changing Times by R. J. Parker

    Title: Requiem, Changing Times Author: R. J. Parker Publisher: Olympia Publishers Publication date: September 26, 2019 Genre: Fantasy Summary: In one world, O’Neil and Banks are running from pursuers as they make their way back to their home to begin a mission to save their world. In the same world, the Fury are on a similar mission to retrieve what O’Neil and Banks are seeking to retrieve to save their world, but definitely have no intention of saving the world. In our world, Clint and Corbin are two middle school kids looking forward to the upcoming Halloween dance, if Clint can ever get up the nerve to talk to his crush intelligibly. When a whole…

  • Guest Post: Appaloosa Sky by Karen Brenner

    Guest Post: Karen Brenner, Author of Appaloosa Sky

    The Lily Cafe is thrilled to welcome Karen Brenner, author of the fiction novel Appaloosa Sky! Enjoy a brief excerpt from her novel and a short piece about what publishing a debut novel was like. Title: Appaloosa Sky Author: Karen Brenner Publisher: Brenner Pathways Publication date: December 13, 2019 Genre: Fiction, Women’s Fiction Summary (from Amazon): At only eleven years old, Ginny Spangler is left orphaned after a horse theft gone bad. As Ginny grows from a self-reliant young girl to the fiery matriarch of a sprawling Texas ranch family, she passes on her resiliency and bold spirit to her nieces, Scottie, Rory, and Georgie O’Brien – sisters that are growing up with a distant…

  • A Christmas Cookie Tradition

    Neither an adventure in ratio baking nor a recipe this week. Instead, since it’s December, I wanted to write about a Christmas tradition my mom started when I was very young. For as long as I can remember, my mom would spend an entire day baking cookies. The funniest thing about them was that all the recipes came from cook books, but everyone raved about how good they were and would ask for the recipe. My mom always refused to give them away, but they were in printed cook books and could have been found by anyone. Haha, just one of our many family secrets! But it was really a tradition…

  • Balancing Blogging and Living - how life impacts blogging

    Balancing Blogging and Living

    On Tuesdays, I usually share the stories, writing related posts, book reviews, and book releases I’ve come across over the past week. Last week I was fortunate to host an author and his nonfiction book Taking Action for a Better Tomorrow. I had planned on doing another stories, etc. post today, but I must also be a person with a life to live. I’m a busy wife and mother. Even though I never, ever had any plans of being a stay-at-home mom, it’s where I’ve found myself for nearly three years now. Recently, thanks to a lovely mom sharing another lovely mom’s story, I’ve been trying to take my role to heart,…

  • Book Review: Beside Herself by Elizabeth LeBan

    Book Review: Beside Herself by Elizabeth LaBan

    Title: Beside Herself Author: Elizabeth LaBan Publisher: Lake Union Publishing Publication date: October 22, 2019 Genre: Fiction, Women’s Fiction Summary: Hannah is a happily married mother of two. Until she discovers her husband cheated on her. He assures her it’s over and literally becomes ill every time it comes up, but Hannah is still angry. After witnessing her best friend’s slow decline after her divorce, Hannah is caught between wanting a divorce and wanting to stay, but how can she even the score? By having her own affair, of course. Simple in theory, she quickly learns diving back into the dating pool is far from easy, and begins to learn what’s really important to her. To…

  • Respect

    Respect. We all want it. We all demand it. We parents especially demand it from our children. But it can be so hard to give. I was raised in a Chinese American family (emphasis on the Chinese and the American) with grandparents and a father who still upheld the traditions of the old world and relentlessly passed them down. Of highest importance was respect for our elders. As we said our final goodbyes to my grandmother this past weekend, we, of course, reflected on her life and who she was. She had a difficult childhood in rural China, growing up during the Japanese occupation of China. She entered into an…

  • 3 Quotes, 3 Days Challenge – Day 1

    Thank you so much to What defines me? for nominating me for the 3 quotes, 3 days challenge. It’s an incredible honor! Please do check out her blog and give her a follow! The rules Thank the person who nominates you Post one quote per day for 3 consecutive days Nominate three new bloggers each day The destiny of man is in his own soul. -Herodotus There are some quotes that I just love and some that have helped shape my life. This is one of the latter. Four years ago, I decided to leave my doctoral program to move across the country. It would bring us closer to family,…

  • Gates to Asphodel, Chapter 9

    Recap: Corey’s parents had an argument about her and were found dead the next morning. Corey then meets Detective Skylar Adams. She is later adopted by Helen and Andy. Two years later, Corey is in school and meets a friend, Terese, and the class bully, Sandra. One day, two students are found dead and Corey meets Detective Adams again. Corey starts 2nd grade, which brings her face to face with a terrifying new teacher. As you can expect, her teacher does not last long. And then neither do her adopted parents, but things look up as Corey may have found a forever family.   “Welcome to your new home!” Dimitra Adams…

  • The Blessed Event by Frankie Bow

    Title: The Blessed Event Author: Frankie Bow Publisher: Kindle Press Publication date: July 19, 2016 Genre: Mystery\Satire Please note I received a free copy of this book through Amazon’s  Kindle Scout program. Summary: In the fifth installment of the Professor Molly Mysteries series, Molly Barda is a new wife and stepmother to one of her former students. As summer starts at the beginning of this cozy mystery, Molly has big plans for the next three months, none of which involve her new in-laws visiting, missing jewelry, and a murder. As she attempts to navigate these new relations and figure out who left a body behind, she decides it’s time to…