Tag Archives: good reads challenge

2023 Good Reads Challenge

This year, I’m determined to read as many books as I can. It’s something I can do on those high pain days and pretty much can do anywhere – outside, inside – or while in bed hopped up on painkillers.

I’m already on my third book of the year and I thought I would keep track of what I’m reading here. I’ll also link to my Good Reads profile and you can follow me there or be friends with me too.

One thing I am trying to do is discover new authors, not only to support their work but also to help boost up my writing skills. When you’re an indie author, you tend to relate more to authors that you have a similar style to.

I’m gravitating more away from horror, to things like fantasy, murder mystery, and maybe some good old fashioned romance or smut books. Since my series has a little bit of it all!

This post will be updated as the challenge continues and I will do a month end summary for all the books I’ve found or started to read.

Wish me luck – what’s on your reading list this year?

Authors mentioned so far:

  • Colleen Hoover
  • Kate Aslinger
  • LJ Smith
  • Lucy Score

February 2023 Book List

Things We Never Got Over – Lucy Score

The story focuses around a set of twins – Naomi and Tina. Tina is hellbent on destroying Naomi’s life – steals her car, her purse, her phone – and leaves something behind. A daughter with no home.

Naomi is thrown into the role of being a caregiver, in a strange town for her niece that she just met.

I tried getting into this book but I couldn’t. I’ll try and give it another chance sometime.

The Gift – Kate Aslinger

The Gift is book one in a five book series by Kate Aslinger called The McKenna Series.

Grace McKenna is a detective of a small town who has a special gift that allows her to see crimes that people have committed. But the gifts come with a caveat and the messages are usually vague, leaving Detective McKenna on some wild goose chases.

READ Feb 2023

Buried Secrets – Kate Aslinger

This is the second book by Kate Aslinger for the McKenna Mysteries series.

This installment fixates on a woman in town named Miriam that Detective Grace McKenna is convinced is a murderer.

Detective McKenna is once again on the hunt for clues with little information to go on.

READ Feb 2023

Want to Read 2023

The following is a list of books I’d like to reading 2023-2024 – aiming to complete at least 12 or 1 per month. It’s ambitious but I am hopeful!!

Previous Book Challenges – 2022

What are you reading this year? Let me know in the comments. And if you use Kindle like I do, do you have an E-Kindle?

Goodreads recommendations: February 2022

It’s almost the end of February and I realized I didn’t share my monthly book suggestions with you. So, instead, I’ll share what books I have read and a brief summary.

Some of you may recall my Good Reads challenge that I started in December 2020. The challenge was to find at least three sources of media each month. Whether it was a new podcast, movie or book – I’d share a review with you.

In January, I gave myself a challenge of reading 12 books for the year. That adds up to about one per month. Well, we’re only two months into the year and I’ve already read SIX books.

I am on Good Reads, so you can follow me there for a list of books that I have on my to read shelf. I’m also doing a retro-reread and reading books from my teenage angst years. I ordered a couple of books from Thriftbooks that I’m excited to read again, since many of them are out of print.

Books read so far

  • Forever, Judy Blume
  • Friends for Life, Ellen Emmerson White
  • Life Without Friends, Ellen Emmerson White
  • The Forbidden Games, L.J. Smith (currently rereading)
  • The Widow’s Watcher, Eliza Maxwell
  • Things We Never Got Over, Lucy Score (currently reading)

The Widow’s Watcher by Eliza Maxwell

Click on the image for my review

Things We Never Got Over

Currently reading

The Forbidden Game, L.J. Smith (reread)

If the same L.J. Smith sounds familiar to you, then you might a Vampire Diaries fan. Or as some of us call it, TVD. Long before the TVD universe was brought to us via the CW network, there was a series called The Forbidden Game released in the early 1990’s.

Also, speaking of which. The show is a guilty pleasure that I have re-watched probably seven times since it ended. I’m team Stefan all the way. Damon is like the abusive boyfriend you can’t shake. Paul Wesley is dreamy.

My seventeen year old self fell in love with this trilogy and it is one that I’ve reread the most. I’m kicking myself now for giving away my copies of the books.

This was the book that introduced me to a world of Norse mythology. I think I liked it so much because I am Danish and related to the Nordic lifestyle so much.

Then there’s Julian, the main villain of the story. This tall dreamy blonde haired immortal being with Nordic blue eyes (it’s a thing, I looked it up) falls in love with a mortal being named Jenny. He has magical powers beyond anything we could ever imagine. He sucks Jenny and her friends into this magical world of his full of danger and romance.

Oh gosh. My teen self loved Julian so much. I’m currently rereading this book and am taking my time with it. I visit it once a year, so I finally ordered myself a physical copy.

Julian still invokes all those innocent feelings I had as a teenager. He’s even inspired the novel I’m working on now, though I’m really trying to give my character his own voice and sex appeal.

But god damn, if you’re into supernatural or Norse mythology like I am, you should definitely check out this series.

So, I guess that’s three books in one that I’m reading which bumps up my total to 9!! That’s crazy!

Previous recommendations

Good reads profile

If you are looking for new books to read, then you should follow me on Good Reads. I did sign up for a few other services but most of my friends are on this platform. I enjoy it better and use Kindle for books. I’ll also be sharing a list of sites where I read and download free books – legally.


What are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments. Bonus points if the book is available through Kindle Unlimited.

Have you read my new book yet? It’s free for a limited time on Smashwords.

Reviews are welcome – this is my first e-book that I self-published. I’m using a penname for all my books and novels.

Free download

Book Review: The Widow’s Watcher by Eliza Maxwell

It doesn’t take me long to read a book if I can keep an interest. There were several times early on, when I wanted to quit reading and move onto something else. But I am determined to meet my book quota for the month and finished it. I had to take several breaks though as I often found myself getting impatient or bored.

I finished the book about an hour ago as part of my 2022 Good Reads Challenge. This makes book number #2 that I’ve read so far. I had to read some of the reviews before making up my mind and reflected on the ending for a while.

The Widow’s Watcher by Eliza Maxwell

“They spend their whole lives walking away from you,” the kindergarten teacher had said on her little girl’s first day. “Your job now is to be there when they look back.”

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The story centers around two people and their own stories of personal loss and grief. Or more accurately, horrific tragedies that don’t seem plausible but still entertaining to read.

Jenna Shaw is a grieving widow who has lost her husband due to a tragic accident. She is an unlikable character who has lost the will to carry on. She drives out to the middle of nowhere in Minnesota to end her life.

Unbeknownst to Jenna, the spot she chose to drown herself in belonged to an older man who was known being a “gruff” recluse. Or as she calls him later – “old bastard.” Lars Jorgensen spots Jenna from his kitchen window and he rushes to stop her.

When her van refuses to start, she is trapped in town with Lars for several days. The two form an unlikely friendship and they help each other through their own losses which are revealed to the reader throughout the book.

My review and thoughts

What I did not expect was to cry at the end of the book. I suppose I could identify with the inner voice that was Jenna’s guilt. Her guilt manifested as her daughter Cassie’s voice and this makes sense to me. I often hear my own mother’s voice in my head. She is my worst critic at times, and my savior at other times.

The book is pretty slow but the pace quickens up around chapter 19-20. You start to warm up a little to the Jorgensen family as you learn more about their personal tragedies and loss. While some of the twists and turns are a little unrealistic – stranger things have happened in real life.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

All in all, I found myself more emotional towards the end of the book and for that reason – I gave it four stars. The book was well written. Worth sticking it out to the end even if the ending was a bit disappointing.

Was it perfect? No. Enjoyable? I guess that would depend on where you are in your life. If you’re no stranger to grief like I am, then you might enjoy it.

Worth reading? Yes.

Interested in more of my reviews? Follow me on Good Reads!

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