My Quarantineathon Readathon Week 4 Wrap-Up

I should be working on the cover or even the blurb for Sky’s Homecoming. I’m a little brain dead today. It’s been stormy this week and everything in the news just has me feeling blah. I’m ready for a do-over of this year.

Anyway, onto the reading and readathon. I really enjoyed this readathon and it’s easy pace. I completed all 4 of the weekly prompts and managed 11 other books this month too. (So far. Still have the rest of today and all of tomorrow left.)

This week’s prompt was to read a book about what you miss the most. There are plenty of things I miss, but I really wanted to read one of Jennifer Worth’s Call the Midwife books and I do really miss new episodes of all my favorite shows.

I read Shadows of the Work House this week. I enjoy Jennifer’s writing voice greatly as well as the historical attributes of her memoirs. This one was just heartbreaking. So many people lost so much or everything to work houses and unfair systems. Today, we don’t have work houses, but we still have so many unfair systems and so many problems.


As a lifelong reader, I’ve long used books to understand the world as much as to escape it. This week I’m just a little down, because it seems the same problems only play on repeat. I’m ready for a vacation that I can’t take and more coffee than I should drink in a day.

I’m already reading Farewell to the Eastend, the last book I have left in Jennifer Worth’s boxset. Her voice shines through immensely in this one as well.


Quarantineathon Readathon Week 3 Wrap-Up

This has been a slow reading week for me. I’ve been so busy working on Sky’s book (It’s almost ready for the editor! Finally!) I’ve only finished two books this week. Which I know is still good reading, but it’s been slow for me.

This week’s prompt for the readathon was to read a book about an essential employee. I was suggested a book by a friend. It was a memoir of a medical examiner. I was weary of reading it because I can be squirmy with blood and guts in a medical setting.


This book did make me feel squirmy with all the talk of heart disease. Yep, it was that part that got to me. Not the horrible accidents or anything like that.

I found the writer’s voice enjoyable. She has a beautiful way of explaining graphic details in a way that’s both understandable in plain English and also sometimes entertaining. She talked about stuff tough she saw during her time as a NYC medical examiner and used humor at times to make it easier to swallow.

The most difficult part for me to read was the chapters where she discussed working as part of a team to identify bodies of victims of the 9/11 attacks. As someone who was a child during that time it was difficult to know more.

She handled other tough causes about hit and runs and helped the police solve murderers and bring several criminals to justice. She’s kick ass in my humble opinion.

This week the prompt is to read a book about something you miss the most about the before covid19 normal world. I miss my shows. I miss new episodes of Call the Midwife. So I’m reading Jennifer Worth’s Shadow of the Workhouse this week. I’m looking forward to it. It’s the third book I’ve read from her of the books which inspired the show.

Stay safe and healthy out there. I’m still enforcing my own rules with myself to stay home and keep any trips out as no contact as possible. Curbside grocery pick ups and saying no to all gatherings. This won’t last forever, but I’m staying put for now.


My Week 2 Quarantineathon Readathon Wrap Up

Today I’m blah. Reading is blah. Writing is blah. Today is blah. I wrote few really emotionally challenging chapters today for Sky’s book. It’s only 11 AM and I have what I can only call an emotional hangover. I’ve written plenty of emotional scenes, but this is the first time I’ve actually had an emotional hangover from writing. Like pure numb verging on sad emotional hangover. I always knew Sky’s book would be difficult to write, but here it is. It’s moving along.

So, let’s talk about what I read this week for the readathon. This week the prompt was to read a book with an at risk character. This book had 2 of them. One was a chronic pain sufferer, Rachel, seeking a way to live with her pain and break her dependence on abusing narcotics to survive. The other was a terminally ill older gentleman with a neuro degenerative disease named Harry.

The 100 Year Miracle

The search for a ‘cure’ led Rachel to a fictional island with a greatly written backstory and lore. This book had me with all of its twists and turns.

Also, as someone with chronic pain I related so freaking hard to Rachel. It was good chronic pain rep (if you ignore her extra pills.) But the way the author wrote her with both desperation and determination was incredible.

It wasn’t all depressing and pain, though. There was adventure, mystery, and witty lines like this: The waitress looked like she wanted to be in the middle of an argument with a handicapped person about as much as she wanted to antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea.

It was full of laugh out loud lines like that at times.

Next week’s prompt is to read about an essential employee. I’m reading a autobio/memoir of a medical examiner. Tune in next week to find out if I made it through. This was the recommendation of a friend – HI MEG! Well, hi if you’re reading this. lol I’m excited about it, but also I know anything cardio-vascular makes me squirmy.



What a Novelist Learned About Themselves in Self-Isolation So Far

I’ve finished my second book for #Quarantineathon and will do a blog about it soon, but the readathon has got me thinking about somethings I’ve realized along the way. I’m still staying home and just avoiding people in general for the sake of my own health. Yep. This is my plan for the long run. It’s mentally and emotionally challenging, but I think it’s the best way forward for me. Just a warning from someone with PTSD and anxiety some of these are probably morbid and deep. Others are absolutely silly and ridiculous. Read ahead, but you’ve been warned.

1. I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of suffering.

As my longtime readers know I have an unhealthy obsession with wondering about what comes after death. I’ve had it for years. Not just in a spiritual seeker way either. Like I used to have panic attacks about falling into oblivion. I don’t think I was ever really afraid of dying. I’m afraid of suffering. Hearing about how this virus kills people scares the shit out of me. I’ve had healthy anxiety off and on my whole life. I think this is why. I think it’s pretty common too, but it’s something I didn’t actually put together until recently.

2. I don’t fear not getting to do everything I want in life. I fear being forgotten.

I was born with a TBR list too long to ever read. I want to see more of the world than my bad foot and bank account will ever let me. I’m okay with that. I still have great experiences. What I fear is doing nothing worth remembering. I have friends who tell me I have people who enjoy my books – I’ve impacted a small corner of the world. Okay, yeah, but I’m afraid I’ll be forgotten. One day I will. John Green talks about this a lot. That he fears something similar and one day that will happen no matter what we do as individuals. I’ll settle for cheering up and making as many people laugh as possible for the time I’m here.

3. I am NOT a workaholic. Writing is a coping mechanism for me.

Seriously. I write to explain the world to myself and to better understand the world around me. Something about sitting uninterrupted for hours at a time tapping away at the keyboard soothes my anxious soul. When I can’t or don’t the world is too much.

4. I’m an introvert, but I miss the people at my local grocery store.

I want to know how my favorite and usual cashier’s grandkids are. I want to know how the lady at customer service is doing on weight watchers. I don’t have contact with them on social media and I miss my weekly updates on their lives.

I also miss the old people who always chose me to ask where something was or if I’d help them get something down. I miss hearing their stories and seeing their smiles. I miss the rugrats darting in between carts and laughing. It was never really a personal experience, but as an introvert it was an experience I loved.

People are creatures of habit and I saw a lot of the same folks every week. I miss them. I doubt they’re reading this, but if you’re in a little town in WV and have a customer who always asks about your grandkids -it’s me!!!! lol

5. I don’t get bored of reading.

I always thought there would be a point I got bored of reading. There’s not. I’ve gotten bored of particular books. Don’t give me that look. We all do it. I just haven’t gotten bored of reading.

6. I hate when another person reads to me, but I love audiobooks. I like them more than Netflix.

Seriously, this one through me for a loop. Before this crazy all started I mostly listened to them while I gamed. (Stardew Valley and Sims 3 if you must know). Now, I listen to them while I clean and  cook. Sometimes if I’m overwhelmed by my own thoughts (and it’s not storming) I’ll lay down and just listen to half an hour of one doing nothing else. It’s nice to focus on.

7. I have more of an online support network than I thought.

Now that I all of my social activities are online I realize how many people I speak to every day and how much I enjoy those conversations. I knew I cared about them, but I didn’t realize how much.

8. I love talking about books. 

Okay, so there was a time in my life I knew this. Then I started hanging out with a bunch of people who didn’t read. My reading time shrank and so did how much I talked about books. (Not Harry Potter. Still brought it up every time I could.) Now, I talk about books all the time. I do it on the phone. I participate in r/52book. This is the first month I’m participating in a reading on r/bookclub. (Both are on Reddit for those of you unfamiliar with the platform.) We’re reading Journey to the Center of the Earth. This isn’t a book I’d have picked up on my own. It’s an okay book, but I love talking about it with other people.

9. I’ve been sad for a long time.

I’m good at ignoring sad. I’m really good at it given my early childhood and teen years. I’m okay with being sad, because so much has happened to me over the last few years that has really added to and brought to the surface my PTSD issues. I don’t really ignore it anymore, though. I can’t. It’s me and sadness alone on the computer trying to avoid each other. It doesn’t work.

I’ve cried. I’ve journaled. I’ve admitted to myself how much some people close to me really broke my heart. I admitted and accepted as much as I want to be a stone hearted bitch, I’m not. At times I’m a bleeding heart and that’s why I cut out toxic people so much. I know they’ll hurt me and I just don’t have time to be hurt over and over. I don’t need those people in my life.

10. There is no limit to the amount of times I will watch Orange is the New Black.

Seriously, sometimes I have it on all the time if I’m not reading, working, or listening to an audiobook. I keep going back to it when there’s nothing to watch.

11. Left to my own devices I maintain weight, but don’t lose it.

I’ve been on a weight loss journey for a long time. With being home so much I’ve cut myself a lot of slack. Anxiety messes with my appetite in both directions. I won’t eat all day one day and then only eat dinner. On another day I’ll snack all day. Then the next I’ll eat three meals. This is me when I’m not tracking calories. Somehow over the last month of not tracking I haven’t gained or lost a single pound.

12. I probably should make a twitter account.

I hate drama. So much of what I see from Twitter is drama. Damn it hell, though, that’s also where so many readathons are based. I’m thinking about it, but probably won’t make an account.

What have you learned about yourself during this chaotic time?


What I Inherited from My Estranged Mother

I’m taking a day off today from writing. I’ve said it was to take care of filing my taxes online. I said it was because Saturday I wrote emotionally challenging scene. Both of those things are true, but there’s something else too.

Mother’s Day is a bitch for me. My mother never really was a mother even when she was around. I mean, in my early years she was there physically, but a combination of mental illness and drug addiction left her anywhere but actually there.

Full disclaimer: At the time my father wasn’t much better. He’s somewhat better now, but we don’t connect. Not really. This coupled with various drama throughout my family leaves me making my own family with my friends. I love them.

It also leaves me feeling lonely. I spent years wondering why I couldn’t connect with my father? We have nothing except blood and a caffeine addiction in common.

So if I’m not like him or any of my aunts or uncles where did I come from? I mean, yeah, I partially raised myself. Sometimes I joke that books raised me and they did in someways.

Where did those books come from? My mother. It’s a mixed bag. I remember her buying me books during her clean periods. I remember her reading them to me sometimes. I think this is why I don’t remember learning to read like a lot of people do. I think it’s wrapped up in my early childhood abuse/neglect memories and my PTSD programed mind protects me from it.

But the books were there. I remember one traumatic reading experience. We were reading Disney’s Aristocats (Spelling?) I loved those stupid cats and watched the movie and read the book a lot. Sometimes she read it to me. By the time of this memory I was probably 5 and preferred not to be read to, but I mean I was 5 any attention was good attention, right?

Well, she was reading it to me and she skipped half of the middle. I wasn’t going to stand for it. So, she went back and read it inserting her own crude language. I wasn’t having that either – this was my book. My story. I often imagined myself an extra kitten in the story. Well, that went over about as well as you expect with an addict. She whacked me across the face, ripped the book apart, and continued to beat me with it. Gone was my favorite book of the time.

After that I hid my books from her. I hid a lot of my things from her. Hell, at some points I hid the baby from her. The literal baby. My brother.

I continued to read, though. At school. At my grandma’s. Anywhere I could find books. Then we didn’t talk about reading again until I was 9. We were snowed in and I ran out of library books. She tossed me a book of mommy porn – basically one of those romances from the civil war era. I can’t remember the name of the book and I’ve tried. I’ve searched and even asked around Reddit, but apparently I don’t remember the right details.

I don’t know that my love of reading came from her. During her short clean periods she did read her romance novels. What I gained from her was the ability to escape into books – I had to. And sometimes in there I wrote my little stories. The first one was writing an episode of Flintstones to add myself in. Yep. Seven year old Maggie wrote fanfiction for The Flintstones. Yep.

So from all the things I inherited from her – trust issues, relationship complications, PTSD, scars, years of therapy, and more. What can I take away from all of this?

I became a writer and a book lover. They were my friends when she and her long line of abusive boyfriends chased off real people from my life. That love of story telling and immersing myself in a good story was the sole thing I snatched and kept for myself.

I’ve been asked why there’s not more moms in my stories. I usually answer with ‘Well, I write Mpreg!” lol And that’s part of the truth. The other part is I’m afraid my own mother would creep in there. I mean there are obviously some mom’s in my stories. (RIP Miriam)

I’ve always wondered what my life would have been like if my parents supported me during my early years. I got good grades until my last year of high school when I just stopped trying for the most. I’d sleep through class because sleeping at home wasn’t an option for me. I wondered what would’ve happened if my mother had read the book and hadn’t torn it to shreds.

I don’t know honestly. Maybe I would’ve still become a writer. Maybe my stories would be LGBT lit mainstream. I dunno. I love what I write now. I don’t think I’d be the person I am today. I loved stories because they were all I had. As an adult my life still circles them and I wouldn’t change that for anything.




My Quarantineathon Readathon Week 1 Wrap Up.

Howdy again! Welcome back to my little neck of the woods full of books. Literally full of books. If this is your first time dropping by I’m an indie author (Check out the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga on Amazon.) and a book worm.

I’ve chosen for many reasons to remain in self-isolation through the month of May. This means I still have plenty of time to read. I mean, I always make time for it, but reading is the perfect distraction for when I’m not writing.

Last month I participated in the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon and this month I’m participating in #Quarantineathon. It’s a lot shorter than the O.W.L.s, which I really appreciate. One book a week. That’s it. Good thing for me too, because for the first week I choose an almost 600 page book. I started it on the 5th and just finished it about an hour ago. I thought I might not get through it tonight and almost regretted reading a shorter unrelated book earlier in the week.

The prompt for the readathon this week is to read a book about humanity’s hard times to remind us that we will get through this.


I read a lot of WWII fiction and non-fiction when I’m in the mood. This whole book is just haunting. It’s beautifully written but that adds to just how haunting it is. The story follows the fictionalized lives of children in a Nazi hospital and some of the staff too. So many parts of this book broke my heart.

Part of me wishes I would’ve chosen a shorter book or a book about a different hardship, because this was a difficult read for me: in length, subject matter, and the translated language. It was worth it, though. I won’t be forgetting the images from this book any time soon.

I’ll be back to talk about the readathon next weekend. The prompt for this coming week is to read a book about someone who would be high risk for COVID19 and to stay home for them.

I love these prompts. I was searching out May readathons to participate in and found this one on a new Youtube channel. Well, new to me. Getting Hygge With It is freaking fantastic. I’ve watched so many of her videos this week. If you’re into the BookTube Community of Youtube you should definitely check her out.


Some Quick and Dirty Advice for New Writers

Okay, I don’t have to start this blog with I should be working on my novel… Actually, I should be reading. I’m participating in #Quarantinathon. Like a dumbass  I decided i could squeeze in another book before I started on my prompt book for the week. So, yeah I’m a bit behind. I had originally planned to review all the books I read for this readathon but I might not, because this one is a fictionalized account of a young man who spent 3 years in basically a Nazi hospital for children who were disabled, had learning disabilities, or were basically anyone they didn’t like. I know the prompt is about reading a time we did overcome already, but I’m not so sure what to say in a review about that.

If you’re one of my readers dropping by to see if I hinted at anything about Sky’s book: Yep. I wrote today. Today Sky and Rune had a wedding they needed to be at.

Onward! This advice is for folks who are writing their first or maybe their second book. If you consider yourself new this is for you.

  1. Writer’s block is a myth.

Writing is hard! Some days it sucks! Other days it rocks! The truth is if you’re going to do this in the long term you just gotta do it. If you wait for inspiration you’ll never find it.

2. Don’t edit as you go.

Okay, some writers do this, but if this is your first or second book don’t do it! Seriously, don’t do it! Just get your story out and worry about editing and polishing it up later. Getting it on the page can be the hard part in the beginning.

3. Don’t expect your friends or family to want to read every word you write.

They don’t want. Most probably never will. Unless every person you know is a bookworm don’t count on their support. Seriously, don’t do it. You have to be your own cheerleader. In a perfect world you’d have all the support in the world. Some of my family still doesn’t understand what I do or why I do it. Most of them have never picked up one of my books. Honestly, I wouldn’t want them to. When people you know read your book they’ll go one of two ways. Either they’ll say they love everything or they’ll hack you to death saying it’s horrible because either they’re jealous or are just horrible people who criticize everyone and everything. Try to make writer friends, but don’t expect them to read everything you write either. Seriously, we can’t write if we’re reading everyone’s manuscript to give out tips that can come from beta readers.

4. Don’t totally base your main character on yourself.

Yes, you’re going to relate to some of the characters you write, but you shouldn’t write yourself into the book. It’ll cloud your judgement and will read like fanfiction. I love fanfiction – I do. TWD. HP. Yep. I love it – when I’m in the mood for it. So, seriously, write your books but don’t try to make it secretly a biography, because most people have really boring lives – myself included.

5. Nope, you don’t have to write every day.

This is another myth. Yes, some writers write every day. I do not. I try for one day a week off, but I write 4-6 K words a day when I do write.

Which brings me to the most important tip I’ll ever give you:

6. Stop comparing yourself to other writers – new or established. If I write that much 6 days a week doesn’t mean you have to. Maybe you write more than me. Maybe you write less. Either is great. Just write your book and stop worrying.


Some Random Thoughts About My Upcoming Book (Sky Hemlock’s Story)

Usually when I’m writing a non-readathon blog I always have to say I should be writing on my novel. Today, that is not the case. It’s a scheduled day off for once. I’m 50k words into what will likely be the longest book of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga. Seriously, I think I’m like a third of the way through it. Maybe a third. That’s a bit overwhelming to me.

This book is finally bringing home the wayward twin brother of Darian Hemlock. I’ve known most of his story of what happened in the Other World for a long time. I knew how he and Rune met and where they exchanged their claiming vows. I knew the name of their first child and some other stuff I can’t write here because of spoilers. I’ve looked forward to this book – I just didn’t realize that it would be this damn long to tell. I mean, I’ve written long books before. Bane and Lee’s book (Healer’s Oath, but most people just call it Bane and Lee’s book. I don’t mind and I don’t think the guys would either. lol) is my longest and readers usually love the format or they don’t. I’m okay with that, because not everyone has to love my books. Though, in my FB group my only question for passage is what is your favorite Hemlock Mpreg Universe Book and the answer is usually Bane and Lee’s (Healer’s Oath) or Cinder and Seth (Saving Cinder.)

In some ways I’m nervous about this book, because I think readers have some expectations and I don’t know if Sky is going to be who they expect. I know some people were upset about how Monta and some of the others didn’t like Darian much or thought he was too bossy. Sky and Darian have a lot to work out so if you measure characters by if they like Darian you might not like Sky all that much. I love him. I don’t have favorites between them, because well I adore them both. I’m probably more Sky than Darian, because I’ve always been a bit of a black sheep in my family. As the only dragon (at the time) in a wolf pack Sky definitely struggled with that.

As the story unfold and we discover what kept Sky in the Other World, I have a chance to visit the Hemlock Mountain and Night Star Village (where Voron is from in book 9) of the past. Some old faces revisit that couldn’t otherwise. Last night I wondered what would’ve happened if I chosen to follow the wayward brother instead of the responsible one. How would my series have turned out differently? I’ll never know, but I’m happy with how the saga has turned out. There’s two or three more books before I end the saga. That makes me so sad. Two or three, because I don’t know if want to have Star Hemlock Night Star’s book in this series or in a future one. I think he fits in better with the future one. Though, since the book that comes after Sky’s is Colton’s maybe there is some room for another young person’s book.

My plans after the saga include getting Hemlock Fairy Tale’s caught up on the timeline (If you’re waiting for the next book in that series, don’t worry! It’s coming! Likely Carter will be the first beta to be part of a two person main couple in my works. I say two person, because obviously Ivan will be part of Colton’s story.

After I catch Fairy Tales up I have some standalone novel ideas I’ve been tossing around. I might even write one or two of them before I revisit Fairy Tales, because I think after writing 5 books straight in a series (Which is my plan as of now) I’ll need a break from series for a bit.

Once Hemlock Fairy Tales is caught up to the timeline I plan to start a new Hemlock series exploring the adult lives of some of my favorite character’s children. I’ve wondered what their lives would be like and for some of them I already have answers.


Readathons, Uncategorized

My Quarantineathon Readathon TBR List

So, I enjoyed last month’s O.W.L.s Magical Readathon so much that I had to find another one to participate in this month. I considered Bout of Books, but that one is for just reading more. Honestly, I’m reading more than ever. That’s not a challenge this year. So, I went on the search because I wanted prompts and this one hosted/created by Getting Hygge With It on YouTube is a readathon I can get behind.

Quarnatineathon – is a readathon for the modern times and reminder that staying in doors is good not only for our health right now, but for those who have to go out to work and those at high risk. I won’t tell anyone what to do – but honestly, my state’s starting to lift restriction soon and they can kiss my arse. I won’t be going out and resuming normal activities. I’ve been telling everyone I know to listen to scientists and doctors and watch the data roll in themselves. The economy will never be worth your life. That’s why I love the message behind this readathon. The prompts the host came up with are fantastic and suit the situation.

I’ll link her video at the end for everyone to check out, but here’s how it works. Short. Simple. To the Point. Just the way I like things. (Well, sometimes I like things like a long list of prompts relating to my Hogwarts courses, but I like stuff like this too. I’m complicated.)

The readathon runs from May 3- 30th. One prompt for each week of the month.

The Prompts!

WEEK 1 – Read a book that explores the hard times humanity has faced before. We WILL get through this too!

WEEK 2 – Read a book about a character who would be at risk from the coronavirus. Stay inside for them!

WEEK 3– Show essential workers some love by reading a book about an essential worker as a main character.

WEEK 4– Read a book about what you miss most from the normal world. Live vicariously through it!

Since this readathon only has 4 prompts I’ll read other books throughout the month too, but my TBR is as follows.

WEEK 1 – Read a book that explores the hard times humanity has faced before. We WILL get through this too!


The Chosen OnesThe Am Spiegelgrund clinic, in glittering Vienna, masqueraded as a well-intentioned reform school for wayward boys and girls and a home for chronically ill children. The reality, however, was very different: in the wake of Germany’s annexation of Austria on the eve of World War II, its doctors, nurses, and teachers created a monstrous parody of the institution’s benign-sounding brief. The Nazi regime’s euthanasia program would come to determine the fate of many of the clinic’s inhabitants.

Through the eyes of a child inmate, Adrian Ziegler, and a nurse, Anna Katschenka, Steve Sem-Sandberg, the author of the award-winning The Emperor of Lies, explores the very meaning of survival. An absorbing, emotionally overwhelming novel, rich in incident and character, The Chosen Ones is obliquely illuminated by the author’s sharp sense of the absurd. Passionately serious, meticulously researched, and deeply profound, this extraordinary and dramatic novel bears witness to oppression and injustice, and offers invaluable and necessary insight into an intolerable chapter in Austria’s past.

WEEK 2 – Read a book about a character who would be at risk from the coronavirus. Stay inside for them!


Once a century, for only six days, the bay around a small Washington island glows like a water-bound aurora. Dr. Rachel Bell, a scientist studying the 100-Year Miracle and the tiny sea creatures that create it, knows a secret about the phenomenon that inspired the region’s myths and folklore: the rare green water may contain a power that could save Rachel’s own life (and change the world). When Rachel connects with Harry and Tilda, a divorced couple cohabiting once again as Harry enters the last stages of a debilitating disease, Harry is pulled into Rachel’s obsession and hope as they both grasp at this once-in-a-lifetime chance to save themselves.

But the Miracle does things to people. Strange and mysterious things. And as these things begin to happen, Rachel has only six days to uncover and control the Miracle’s secrets before the waters go dark for another hundred years.

WEEK 3- Show essential workers some love by reading a book about an essential worker as a main character.


The fearless memoir of a young forensic pathologist’s rookie season as a NYC medical examiner, and the cases, hair-raising and heartbreaking and impossibly complex, that shaped her as both a physician and a mother.

Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband T.J. and their toddler Daniel holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation, performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy’s two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines flight 587.

Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of America’s most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies, and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on shows like CSI and Law and Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue.

WEEK 4- Read a book about what you miss most from the normal world. Live vicariously through it! (More on why I chose this one for this prompt in a later blog.) 


In this follow up to CALL THE MIDWIFE, Jennifer Worth, a midwife working in the docklands area of East London in the 1950s tells more stories about the people she encountered.

There’s Jane, who cleaned and generally helped out at Nonnatus House – she was taken to the workhouse as a baby and was allegedly the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat. Peggy and Frank’s parents both died within 6 months of each other and the children were left destitute. At the time, there was no other option for them but the workhouse. The Reverend Thornton-Appleby-Thorton, a missionary in Africa, visits the Nonnatus nuns and Sister Julienne acts as matchmaker. And Sister Monica Joan, the eccentric ninety-year-old nun, is accused of shoplifting some small items from the local market. She is let off with a warning, but then Jennifer finds stolen jewels from Hatton Garden in the nun’s room.

These stories give a fascinating insight into the resilience and spirit that enabled ordinary people to overcome their difficulties.


This is just part of what I’ll read in May, but I invite everyone who is able – stay home, read, game, make art. Try making sourdough bread and dalgona coffee (I like this one) and all those other things that are becoming cliche as we stay inside. Try them or try something else and start a new trend.


Readathons, Uncategorized

My O.W.L.s Magical Readathon 2020 Wrap Up!

I had a lot of fun in April with this readathon! It really brightened up the time I spent at home. A lot of places are relaxing social distancing, but I’m not. I won’t go into what I think too much in this, but let’s just say if there were another big readathon this month with great prompts like this I’d be down for it.

I completed all the prompts this time around. This is my second year attempting the O.W.L.s last year they went great and then life totally freaked up my N.E.W.T.s in August.



I enjoyed most of what I read last month. (I read books outside of this too which totaled 19.) My favorite new reads were The Things I’m Seeing Without You and What If It’s Us?. Seriously I love those books. They’re YA, but you should still read them.

This month I’m participating in a smaller readathon that I love the message of! More info on which readathon it is and what my TBR looks like for it.