Adventures of an Urban Homesteader
Brooke L. Davis
Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Humour
Gallatin River Press
June 30, 2020
After three years under the thumb of a cretinous boss who’s sucked all the joy out of working a 9-to-5 job, twenty-eight-year-old Kendall Whitney has had enough. She flees San Francisco, her annoying roommates, and her overbearing mother, and takes refuge in Bozeman, Montana, where it feels like the big sky’s the limit. Safely ensconced in her best friend’s guest room, she promptly launches a three-pronged plan: to live alone for the first time in her life, develop a successful graphic design career, and figure out what she wants in a relationship. She embarks upon Operation Kendall Independence, only to realize that she doesn’t know the first thing about adulting. Hangovers, homemaking, freelancing, friendships, and modern cowboys bent on monogamy . . . it’s enough to send a single girl running for the gin & tonics. With self-deprecating charm and endearing humor, Adventures of an Urban Homesteader is the raucous and heartwarming diary of a young woman who’s determined to seek stability and security on her own terms, and to make her own safety net in case she fails.
Ah Montana – the mountains, the cows and cowboys that you need for them, and then there is the cold! Lots of cold. Bozeman where our heroine moves to, is noted for being trendy – and snow can fall for 3/4 or more of the year! So coming from San Francisco was surely quite a shock to her. Clearly hadn’t invested in the correct undergarments – try Uniqlo in future… they even have self-heating jeans.
I liked the format of the book and the writing style was engaging and fun. Her ‘adventures’ with cows and cowpats and ‘wild’ creatures were amusing and I liked her friends and her boyfriends.
This was a lively book to read and enjoy in the less than freezing temperatures of Southern UK where you can giggle at our current 17 degree c in mid November and all the flowers blooming – and no need to put on woollies – wellies yes though as it has rained a lot! See La Sevillan rose and our LiquidAmbar in full glory in our garden late October 2020.
Oh and do look up the blog from High Country News which gives 10 reasons not to move to Bozeman – funny. The author is debunking all the people who say move to Bozeman for the laid back life etc. A small paradise it is often said.
So number 1 reason is the Name – lame.. and number 2 is the weather… it has been known to snow heavily in June. That said, snow in the UK comes later – or earlier – in the year, depending on how you look at it, in the South rather than the North, and has frequently snowed on our son’s birthday late April – but only a sprinkling.
An Atlas of Extinct Countries: The Remarkable (and Occasionally Ridiculous) Stories of 48 Nations that Fell off the Map
Humor, History, Anthropology
September 3, 2020
Prisoners of Geography meets Bill Bryson: a funny, fascinating, beautifully illustrated – and timely – history of countries that, for myriad and often ludicrous reasons, no longer exist.
Great fun to read and to learn the characteristics of most monarchs of these countries:
Good at borrowing money and not paying it back;
Bum at choosing locations for their country;
Useless at managing a country;
Unable to either defend against the various colonial empires or to sell their own country to these empires;
Great at designing flags and uniforms.
So basically stupid, and worryingly, able to persuade people to get involved in their schemes, many of whom lost their lives due to famine, disease or other avoidable disasters.
Learnt something very interesting about the Vanuatu island and their hairless pigs, who are pseudo hermaphrodites – whereby the males have internal testes.
There is an article in 2006, by Lum et al in the PNAS journal, that days – pig is food in itself but is also a food storage unit, thus we obtain societal wealth and ecological balance by a form of competitive giving – of the pig.
Some pigs become ritual animals and are considered to have the equivalent status to a ‘man of title’ as they are very difficult to rear and being hairless suffer from sunburn. They are therefore extremely valuable in the pig hierarchy.
Shopping For A CEO’s Baby
(Shopping for a Billionaire, #16)
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: October 27th 2020
It’s Andrew and Amanda’s turn… in duplicate We’re having twins. Twins. Which means my shooters are stronger than my brother’s. I win. Yeah, yeah, everyone can say it’s not a competition, but it is. And we all know it. Two babies at once means double the fun, and double the misery for my poor wife, Amanda. While I’m growing a Fortune 500 company, she’s growing two entire human beings out of nothing but orange cheese snacks and ice cream. Do you have any idea how hard I’ve worked during this pregnancy, tracking down orange smoothies for her? Not to mention being forced to Facetime into a childbirth class on perineal massage, rescuing Chuckles the cat from being shaved bald by my two-year-old niece, and fighting with a wife who has named the twins Lefty and Righty. By the time we hit the ninth month, my entire world revolves around pleasing — and protecting — her. Even if it means humiliating myself in the name of love. Wait a minute. Wait a minute, now. Hold on. Is she the one who’s winning? Andrew and Amanda are BACK in the newest New York Times bestselling Shopping series book as they “beat” Declan and Shannon in the baby competition, but at what cost? As their future awaits them in the form of twins, Amanda and Andrew face ghosts from the past with wit, humor, and most of all — plenty of love.
Andrew and Amanda are BACK in the newest New York Times bestselling Shopping series book as they “beat” Declan and Shannon in the baby competition, but at what cost? As their future awaits them in the form of twins, Amanda and Andrew face ghosts from the past with wit, humor, and most of all — plenty of love.
Excerpts and Teasers:
I look at my phone. Andrew.
I’ll be home for dinner. What do you want?
For the last few weeks, we’ve ordered takeout every single night, because I never know what my stomach will or won’t be able to handle. I close my eyes and ask myself what I want, and reply:
Grilled salmon with paprika. Cantaloupe. Sautéed carrots in honey and cumin.
He texts back: I see you’re sticking with the orange theme.
I send an emoji of someone an orange sticking out its tongue.
Will do, he replies. I’ll have Consuela make it and bring it home after the gym.
Then I get a heart.
Consuela owns a private restaurant in the Seaport District, the kind that you can’t know about unless you know someone who knows someone. It’s our special place, and since morning sickness has ravaged me, Consuela’s been gracious enough to meet my weirdo dietary needs.
She also takes it as a challenge. My palate has expanded considerably as a result of her driving mission to find new orange foods.
I reply with: You mean you’ll have Gina contact Consuela to do it all, and have Gerald pick it up and bring it to the house.
Same thing, he texts back.
“I love how you smile when you think about Andrew,” Mom says, making me look up from my phone.
“You two are so in love.”
My smile broadens. “We are.”
She looks at my belly. “Those babies are very, very fortunate.”
“Billionaire’s kids,” I mutter.
“No. You could be penniless and they’d be so, so blessed. You and Andrew are going to be wonderful parents.”
“How do you know?”
Tenderness floods her face as she reaches for me. I stand and bend before her, her hand on my shoulder, eyes shining with something close to tears.
“Because you have such a good heart. You always did. You’re smart and sweet and you care about people and want to help them. And Andrew loves you deeply. I may not understand his ambition, but I do see that he’s a loving man.”
My wife is orange.
She is caked with orange dust, on her fingers, in her cuticles, and her lips are the color of a traffic cone. She’s in the kitchen, standing in front of the blender, drinking something–
You guessed it.
“Mmmmm,” she moans as she drinks straight from the blender itself. “Isss izz soooooo goooo.”
“What are you drinking?”
A swallow later and she says, “Cheeto-cini.” When my sister-in-law, Shannon, was pregnant with my niece, Amanda created a special orange smoothie for her out of Cheetos, marshmallow cream, and orange sherbet.
My wife has modified it to remove the sherbet and replace it with coocnut milk, which does nothing to change the fact that it’s vile to the core.
It’s just slightly less gross now.
“It’s the only thing that stays down.”
“And the doctor really says this is okay?” I say, staying far away from the blender, knowing how territorial she is about her food. She’s pregnant and still stuck deep in morning sickness.
For the last few weeks, all she’s eaten is this.
And nothing else.
“It’s full-fat coconut milk. One big leaf of kale.” She makes a gagging sound. “Apple juice. One banana. And Cheetos. I freeze the fruit and it tastes like a milkshake.”
“Our babies are made up of that.” At least she added the kale, banana, and apple juice this time.
“I choke down a prenatal vitamin, too, Andrew.” Her eyes tear up and her chin quivers.
“It’s fine. Good. I’m so glad you can eat something. Really. Not judging you. I know you are doing everything possible for our babies.” I rub the spot between her shoulder blades, hoping I can calm her down before a full-blown meltdown kicks in.
“I am! Everything,” she says before gobbling down more of that candy corn-colored monstrosity. “I’ve lost two pounds. The doctor said the placenta looks fine and the babies are growing within range, but this morning sickness is horrible. If I drink water, I puke! If I drink this–” she points at the blender, “–I don’t.”
“Then by all means, drink that.” I hold back a shudder. My trainer, Vince, would have an unexpected coronary if he saw Cheetos in a Vitamix.
“I–I know I’m not doing this the way another wife would. A better wife. A wife who is stronger and who…” Her lower lip begins to quiver.
Here we go again.
I open my eyes, the words running through my head before I’m fully awake.
Twenty-three weeks, three days.
That’s my first thought.
The second is: I need to hump my husband.
Some impulse centers itself between my legs, turning me into a rocking nerve ending, my entire body so horny, it’s like some gene in me got flipped and my entire purpose in life is to orgasm in a continuous loop.
“Help,” I whisper to Andrew as I slide my bare thigh against his hair-covered one, his body gloriously nude, which only ratchets up my sex-crazed fever.
“I need you to let me have sex with you again.”
One eye narrows, the other holding steady as I reach for him, finding him halfway to where I need him.
“Can I please have sex with you again? I know we just did it–” I look at the clock, squinting to read the numbers, “–seven hours ago, but I–”
The kiss answers me.
“You don’t have to ask.”
“Of course I do! Consent is very important.”
His erection twitches in my hand, jumping slightly.
“There’s my consent.”
This isn’t slow sex. It’s fast and hard, the kisses hot, my legs parted and my body centered over him in seconds. The grinding need to have him touch the deep ache inside and unclench it is too furious, too intense to ignore.
I’m bent over him, hips rolling up, belly hardening with each curl as I ride, ride, ride to climax. My thighs pull him in deeper, knees pressing against his tight ass, my hands on his chest, his head bobbing up to suck one breast at the perfect moment of ecstasy, making me moan into eternity.
And then–snap. I’m done.
I climb off and kiss his cheek.
Vince grabs my hand before I can touch the forties I’m about to do curls with.
“What the hell is that?” He points to my orange cuticles.
“You’re eating Cheetos?” He sounds like I just told him I cooked my father’s liver and ate it on a buttered croissant. Not sure whether he’d be more outraged at the patricide or the carb count.
“Not me. My wife.”
“Yeah, yeah. All my clients blame their partner. You’re on a strict program, Andrew. No chemicals, no grains, no–”
“Flavor,” Declan mutters under his breath as Gerald smirks. We’re working out at this shithole gym Vince likes, only this time is different.
Because I bought the place.
Declan’s not the only McCormick who can go out on his own and buy a company. No one, other than Amanda, knows I did this.
And don’t ask me why I did it.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three children in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.
Witch and Wolf combined books 1-5
Witch and Wolf
Pen & Page Publishing
(28 Feb. 2019)
Life is never easy for those with the strength to change the world.
These are their stories.
When Allison is asked to play Cinderella-turned-Fianceé at a Halloween ball, the last thing she expected was to be accused of murder. She has to find the killer or she'll be put to death for the crimes she didn't commit. To make matters worse, the victims are all werewolves.
On the short list of potential victims, Allison has to act fast, or the killer will have one more body to add to his little black book of corpses.
When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.
The world is full of corpses, and Jackson knows them by name. When a group strives to destroy the Inquisition, his powers may be all standing between the supernaturals and extinction.
Finished with being a victim, Vicky will do everything in her power to put an end to Basin once and for all, even if it means she must make the ultimate sacrifice and bite a silver bullet for the sake of her family, her friends, and the rest of the supernatural world.
RJ Blain Witch andWolf combined books for series (almost all books are in this).
This set was a freebie set of novels from Xpresso book tours.
I binge read this whole set of novels and then looked up all the ones related set in the same world. And started buying them – a costly freebie I might add as a result.
I just loved the Feneric – or werewolves as most people think of them – they were furry, large or small – puppies according to when they were changed – or really born as Feneric which was on the rare side. With different coloured coats and a habit of nuzzling or biting necks. Fond of sleeping in a large pile (up to 80 on one occasion!), in love with ‘puppies’ – that is anyone younger than them that don’t have children of their own – or even if they do. Protective and loyal. But seriously fierce when needed to be.
The witches were involved with water or fire mainly although there were some who could do additional things – Dustin and his sharks for instance who could be asked to fish for people; and Nicole with her command of electricity and power over gem stones – she could use them to make mini bombs!
I found it difficult to imagine what they looked like as people as Queen Victoria’s daughter only looked in her early twenties and Charles looked to be 30 but had children nearly 30 themselves. And Wendy ends up pregnant at well over a hundred ‘normal’ years.
So for me, the world building was excellent and I loved all the different characters and their stories. I had previously only read one series of RJ Blain’s which was quite different – the series that had ‘a body count’ which made me giggle, so this was a new and different side of her writing.
Stormy Sophie: A hot tempered woman changes the life of a billionaire for ever
Bonjour Never Land Book 1
Stella and Phillip Lemarque
Comedy, Satire, American Humorous Writing, Food
October 9, 2018
A cross between “ The Devil Wear Prada”, “ The Nanny Diaries”. and “ The Asian Crazy Rich.” Stormy Sophie shows the other side of working as “Chef” in private estate, while still remaining light, fun and a pleasure to read. The book also shows how working as a “couple” can be a life-expanding experience.
The Bonjour Never Land series is a five-book romp through the private lives of the billionaires and celebrities during the 1990s. Stormy Sophie is the first novella, it hits all the marks in a simultaneously humorous and heartbreaking examination among the super-rich and aspiring super-rich. From L.A, New York and Miami, Pierre and Sophie with all the instincts about caregiving must navigate their employer’s bizarre, capricious and selfish escapes. Drawn from the real-life career of the authors, Pierre and Sophie’s second chance at love and fortune is both a contemporary hilarious satire and adventures in culinary audacit
The stories by this pair of authors and real life partners, are loosely based on their real life experiences. My one fault with this book is that it was a novella – but then they have more stories to tell and have spaced them out across several books.
So this is very much a story with a difference – all about the very weird rich of the States who are rich enough to have their strange tastes catered for – in all senses of the word.
Sophie and Pierre (see Stella and Phillip!) are chefs and house managers and general organisers of food and dining experiences etc. they are currently, in this story, making a living now as live in chefs for these weird rich people as both have failed restaurants(and money losses) in their business past, and also they are trying to now save money to go and live in France. They have been taken on by an agency and go to try out 2 new positions.
I found that their separate voices came across very clearly in the story telling as did their real experiences with such people. But I did find the beginning of the book confusing and yet there didn’t seem to be a prequel – you are just thrown into the story and you pick up their background gradually. I’m glad I didn’t let the beginning put me off.
The houses and life styles of these very rich are bizarre indeed – as our their habits which become obsessions. As they are so rich they have no-one who is willing to naysay them and so it can continue until they get bored and move on to the next obsession.
I am so willing to read the next in the series – Money Galore…