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review 2018-02-04 15:58
The Lotus Palace (Pingkang Li Mystery #1) by Jeannie Lin
The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin

Yue-ying is the personal servant to the most beautiful and accomplished song girl in the pleasure center, Mingyu. As such, she is not owned by the madam and can come and go as she pleases. Her birthmark (a read cresent on her left cheek) makes her noticeable in town, but her association with the Lotus Palace protects her as well. I liked Yue-ying - she is observant, practical, and a sweet heart without being overly sweet or fake.

 

Bai Huaung is one of Mingyu's admirers/constant patron (minus the sex part), and the flower prince of the pleasure quarter. His reputation as a flakey, shallow man who enjoys life's pleasures over his responsibilities (such as passing the imperial exams and getting a job); he is fine with this reputation, as it allows him to do his real job without notice. When two dead bodies turn up a connection with Mingyu, Yue-ying and Huaung partner to solve the mystery and fall in love.

 

The murders are the kind you find in cozy mystery series - light on gory details, the focus is on the motivations and who-dunit. Also the mystery takes a back seat to the romance. There isn't any suspenseful scenes, it is a mellow kind of mystery. I found it was just enough mystery to give the book a fresh take on the historical romance subgenre.

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text 2018-01-31 12:00
January 2018 Reading Wrap Up
Dark Tide: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 - Stephen Puleo
Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances - Alyssa Cole,Rose Lerner,Courtney Milan
Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal - G. Willow Wilson,Adrian Alphona
The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin
The Jade Temptress - Jeannie Lin

Pretty average month, mostly in the 2.5-3 stars range; however it was productive, thanks to COYER, BoB Cycle 21, and 24 in 48 challenges. The books attached to this post are my highlights for the month.

 

Challenges

BL/GR: 13/52 (25% completed)

COYER Winter Switch

              The Strict: 6 read this month; 10 books read overall for this phase

               The List: 6/30 (5% complete); 2 DNF

Participated in Bout of Books Cycle 21

Participated in 24in48 Read-a-thon

 

Read:

1. Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill - 3 stars

 

2. Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flatts by Kristen Iverson - 3 stars

 

3. The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace by Lynn Povich - 3 stars

 

4. Dark Tide: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo - 4 stars

 

5. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking - 2 stars

 

6. Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David von Drehle - 2.5 stars

 

7. A Right Honorable Gentleman by Courtney Milan - 1 star

 

8. Ms. Marvel, Volume 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson - 4 stars

 

9. Love is Love by Various Authors - 3.5 stars

 

10. Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances by Rose Lerner, Courtney Milan, and Alyssa Cole - 4.5 stars

 

11. The Lotus Palace (Pingkang Li Mystery #1) by Jeannie Lin - 4 stars

 

12. The Jade Temptress (Pingkang Li Mystery #2) by Jeannie Lin - 4 stars

 

13. Agnes Moore's Wild Knight by Alyssa Cole - 2.5 stars

 

DNF:

Something True by Karelia Stetz-Waters at 18% because I only liked one MC and the side characters were extremely annoying or stereotyped.

 

Currently Reading:

Gambled Away by Various Authors

The Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

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text 2018-01-28 21:03
#24in48 Winter Read-a-thon Post - Final Update
The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin
The Jade Temptress - Jeannie Lin
Gambled Away: A Historical Romance Anthology - Isabel Cooper,Jeannie Lin,Rose Lerner,Joanna Bourne,Molly O'Keefe
Something True - Karelia Stetz-Waters

Final Update!

Time marker paused at 17:00:38. I am 28% into the Gambled Away anthology and on the second story. I am 18% into Something True, which I am liking due to the MCs, but some of the side characters are already annoying me. I also spent some time reading to the kids. Reviews to follow tomorrow.

 

I completed my basic goal of two books completed during the read-a-thon, plus I got a jump start on two other books. I exceeded my stretch goal of 16 hours, so I am very happy with my productivity levels for the read-a-thon, especially with this cold from hell I am dealing with. Now I am going to hit up a hot shower and some Nyquil and pass out for the night.

 

To those participating in the 24in48 - FINISH STRONG! You got this!

*****************************************************************************************************

Update #4

Time marker paused at 15:00:30. Spent most of the day reading, with one break to update my Litsy and IG. I finished The Jade Temptress and moved on to the first story in Gambled Away, which I am not liking at all. Once this story is done, I want to move on to Something True.

*****************************************************************************************************

 

Update #3

So I am at the 9:36:09 mark and calling it a night. I am 65% done with my second book, so I should easily meet my two goals tomorrow.

****************************************************************************************************

Update #2

At the 5 hour and change mark I couldn't hold my head up or focus my eyes on reading due to this blasted cold (which may be a sinus infection since my cavities hurt and my head feels like a lead balloon). So I took a three and half hour nap/black out, then made dinner for me and the kids. I read a little during dinner, then I read to the kids before bedtime (see attached books - we are big fans of Mo Willems!). I am now at 36% read on The Jade Temptress and completed one challenge (the oldest book from childhood you still have challenge). I have the stopwatch paused at 7:18:13, so I am making good time on one of my goals. I still feel like death warmed over, but at least I am not in seizure territory anymore.

************************************************************************************************

Update #1

Got off to a late start; I started reading at 6am. My stopwatch is paused at the 3:54:57 mark. I have finished the first book, The Lotus Palace (4/5 stars). I've got The Jade Temptress cued up and ready. Needed more sustenance, so my breakfast of apple cinnamon rice cakes with peanut butter and cinnamon sugar topping and another mug of tea should do the trick. The cold is kicking my butt and making my reading slow going. Posted my progress on IG and Litsy.

*************************************************************************************************

Original Post:

This will be my post for the read-a-thon this weekend. I will post updates at the top for easier reading.

 

My goals:

1. I am only going to do check-ins. I came down with a cold (AGAIN) and not really feeling up to taking time away from social engagement with fellow read-a-thoners or from my reading just to do challenges. I am so tired due to the cold I have to restrict my energy outputs to more important goals.

 

2. Check-ins about every two hours. I am starting the read-a-thon at the same time as the folks on the East Coast of the US is starting, so about 5 am. That will allow me to sleep a little.

 

3. My bare minimum goal is to get 2 books done; my stretch goal is 3 books plus at least 10% of a fourth. Time wise, I want to do bare minimum goal of 12 hours; my stretch goal is 16 hours. One hour will be devoted to reading to the kids (currently they love the Lego Chima and Ninjago series by various authors and the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems).

 

4. Where I will be participating:

Here on BookLikes

IG at https://www.instagram.com/tearainbook/

Litsy @TeaRainBook

 

Opening Survey form completed.

 

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text 2018-01-26 10:02
Friday Reads - January 26, 2018
The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin
The Jade Temptress - Jeannie Lin
Gambled Away: A Historical Romance Anthology - Isabel Cooper,Jeannie Lin,Rose Lerner,Joanna Bourne,Molly O'Keefe
Above All, Honor - Radclyffe
Something True - Karelia Stetz-Waters

This weekend is the 24 in 48 Read-a-thon, so I hope to devote most of my time to reading and participating online. I will post mainly here, Litsy, and IG.

 

My TBR for the read-a-thon: finish The Lotus Palace, read The Jade Temptress, and get at least two stories done in the anthology Gambled Away.

 

Next week I want to finish the anthology and get to Above All, Honor and Something True.

 

My goal is to start February with Sonali Dev and her Bollywood series.

 

 

 

 

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text 2018-01-19 17:38
Friday Reads - January 19, 2018
Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances - Alyssa Cole,Rose Lerner,Courtney Milan
The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin
The Jade Temptress - Jeannie Lin
Gambled Away: A Historical Romance Anthology - Isabel Cooper,Jeannie Lin,Rose Lerner,Joanna Bourne,Molly O'Keefe

*bookish meme created by Nothing But A Good Book

 

As I said in my previous post, this has been a week. As such, I am finding only pockets of time to read. So I am still reading Hamilton's Battalion, but I just started the last story and hope to finish it sometime tomorrow.

 

Then it is off to start the Pingkang Li mystery series by Jeannie Lin, starting with The Lotus Palace and The Jade Temptress. I already read the prequel novella, Capturing the Silken Thief, a long time ago and the last novella is in the anthology Gambled Away, so that will hopefully take me into next weekend's 24 in 48 Read-a-thon.

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