Getting Back to Living (and Reading!)

Here in North Carolina, it’s one of those warm, humid days that slows down time. Few cars are on the road, and the hum of the neighborhood’s air conditioning units seems just as natural as the buzz of the summer insects invading our lawns. Technically, it’s still spring until the 20th, but none of us seem to care. My freckles are out, the sugar snap peas are blossoming by the dozens, and the hummingbirds are drinking faster than we can refill their feeder.

When I lived out in Albuquerque, one of the things I missed the most about North Carolina was summer. The dry New Mexico heat never seemed to warm my bones like the Piedmont does. I think I count on these muggy, summer days to slow me down, to force me to catch my breath every now and then. Here, you have no choice but to take a step back and admit you need a rest. And don’t we need that this year?

May flew by, and June is following suit. With the COVID restrictions lifting around us, my friends, family, and I have all enjoyed getting together more. Christina (my best friend) and I are taking weekend sewing classes – I’m now the proud owner of a handmade hot pad and pillow sewn on our sewing machine. Alex’s family and I celebrated Memorial Day around a campfire together, with all the grandparents. My own family and I are still playing our regular Dungeons & Dragons sessions and had a birthday get-together this weekend.

I know everywhere in the world isn’t so lucky right now, but I am grateful to just breathe a small sigh of relief, at least for a moment. And what do you know? Being around people has helped motivate me in my work, and I find I’m having a much easier time focusing now.

I’ve signed up for a NetGalley account, a site where book reviewers are sent advance review copies (ARCs) or traditional copies for free. This means we can sometimes access books before they’re released for official publication! I got my second review request (The Crowns of Croswald: The Girl with the Whispering Shadow by D.E. Night) last week, and I am so happy to be given free books to write about. How amazing is that?

Next month, I plan to attend an in-person book club session. We’re going to discuss The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. (I’m fortunate to be friends with Hannah, a fellow bookworm, as she lent me her copy!)

To add to my flurry of reading activity, a few nights ago, I finished Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been raving about this book, and I plan to do a full review for Paper Crow Blog. I also recently finished the adorable Arsenic and Adobo by Mia Manansala, which is going on the review list, too!

Lots of exciting things are in store in the next few months, as I’ve also decided to begin work on a cozy mystery series đź’™. More details will be released about that venture soon!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! As always, feel free to leave a comment. I love connecting with fellow readers and writers!

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