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Two Book Tuesday

I am on the strangest non-fiction kick lately… No real idea why, maybe it’s because I’m back in school and looking to learn lots of new things, but I’m reading TWO non-fiction titles at the same time AND sharing them both with you on this Two Book Tuesday!

Who am I and what have I done with myself?


Thanks to my bookselling sister, I got my hands on a copy of The Parasitic Mind by Gad Saad.

A recurring argument between my brother and I revolves around the question “what the heck happened to common sense?” with me asking “why aren’t people questioning this?” and him basically saying “it’s easier for people to let someone else think for them.”

Which lead me to The Parasitic Mind. I’ve only just begun, but the writing is excellent and well-planned, explaining how bad ideas spread through the masses in a way that is interesting, rather than eye-rollingly boring.

As with Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus and my desire to read just about everything she’s written, I’m very interested in Gad Saad’s other titles as well!


So far, Girl, Wash Your Face is more a biography than inspirational title, though author Rachel Hollis does have some really great nuggets of advice like the following…

“You become who you surround yourself with. You become what you consume. If you find yourself in a slump, or feel as though you’re living in a negative space, take a good, hard look at who or what you see every day.”

Each chapter shares a story from her life and, at the end, wraps everything up into a handful of simple steps for the reader to follow.

At the end of the day, Rachel’s message is that women need to put themselves at the TOP of their priority list. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone or anything else?


What’s the last inspirational book you read?
Did anything specific stay with you afterwards?

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Two Book Tuesday

I continue to struggle with some writer’s block in regards to blogging, but I have hope that it’ll work it’s way out of my system. It strange but it seems as if the more my brain works, the less ability I have to put thoughts into writing.


I’ve only just begun listening to The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd, but a chapter in and I’m already interested in where the story will go…

I first learned about indigo dye by way of Japanese indigo, or aizome, a number of years ago and found the topic to be absolutely fascinating!

What is really cool about The Indigo Girl is how such a young woman was able to use both her intellect and the resources around her to make an impact on history. Being a “northern girl,” it’s only been in recent years that I’ve taken an interest in biographical material on Southerners other than major historical figures or entities.

From what I’ve learned, what’s left of Eliza Lucas’ writings are a highly detailed look into the life of an elite colonial woman. I would love to get my hands on a reproduction of her letters. ❤

Eliza Lucas’ story is sure to be a good one and I look forward to sharing my thoughts in a full-length review as soon as I’m finished with it, lol.


I swear that I’m going to read Wesley the Owl even if it kills me to do it!

Truly, I’ve been trying to sit down and crack this book open since I added it to my July TBR list and it just keeps slipping away from me.

Owls are one of my favorite birds of prey and I’m really looking forward to reading about Stacey O’Brien’s life with baby barn owl Wesley. Y’all cross your fingers that I can actually read it sometime soon!

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Book Review | Dawn of the Future by Jun Eishima

Title: Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future
Author: Jun Eishima
Publisher: Square Enix Books
Release date: July 14, 2020
Format: Hardcover
Page count: 400
Genre: Fantasy
My rating: ★★★★★


Okay, spoilers ahead and a LOT of rambling because
I HAVE FEELINGS ABOUT THIS!!!

Also, if you’d like to join in on the FEELS trip,
I live-stream FFXV on my Twitch channel, HERE.

All are welcome, though tissues will not be provided in the case of heartbreak.


The Dawn of the Future shows how rich the universe of Final Fantasy XV was meant to be. There was so much more to see in Niflheim and with Aranea and her band of merchs. Luna actually had a mission of her own and it was not an easy one, her mind and body were worn down by her entreating the gods to form a covenant with the chosen king.

The first part of the book deals with Ardyn and, while I have already played his DLC (which was the last to be released), the novel gave me a deeper look into where his mind was really at after being imprisoned in Angelgard for so many years.

His vicious nature almost makes sense, when you see all that he endured during his time as a healer and then was cast aside by the crystal because he’d taken care of his people and removed the scourge from them. That, and the betrayal of both his brother and the gods, is what set Ardyn on his journey to destroy all things related to the Lucis Caelum line.

Moving on to the second part of the book, we meet an entirely new character! Solara Aldercapt Antiquum, or Sol as those close to her call her, is eight years old when Niflheim falls to demons and the long night begins. She is the heir to the Empire of Niflheim, though her grandfather has kept her existence secret, which makes me wonder if he started to fear what Ardyn’s plans actually were and tried to protect his legacy as best he could.

Anywhos, Sol is rescued by Aranea and is raised by the woman as her own daughter, learning to fight and survive the long night and the wait for the chosen king. I really enjoyed this part of the book, because it shows more of Aranea’s caring side. You get to see a bit of this in the game, when you go on missions with her and see how she interacts with Biggs and Wedge, but Aranea clearly becomes an amazing leader and mother.

As you would expect from any child of Aranea’s, Sol wants to prove herself and show that she is capable of taking on solo missions. So, of course, she sneaks away from her watchers, Biggs and Wedge, to do exactly that. Which is when she meets Lunafreya Nox Fleuret…

As Oracle, Luna believes that the gods want only the best for Eos and the people who call it home. After surviving the attack on Insomnia, Luna continues her quest to speak with the gods on Noctis’ behalf, to ask them for their blessing for the chosen king so that he will have the power he needs to rid Eos of the starscourge forever.

What’s really sad about this, is that she succeeds! She manages to forge the covenant between Noctis and Leviathan in Altissia (where they were supposed to meet and be married) before Ardyn kills her. These two star-crossed lovers meet only once as adults and then are torn apart by forces greater than they could ever imagine having to face.

But that’s not the end for Luna.

Oh no, Bahamut has grander things in store for her, as he resurrects her near the time Noctis is to be released from the crystal and informs her that she is now to face the Accursed. Without question, she obeys, fighting demons as she travels with her new friend, Sol, towards Insomnia and the seat of Ardyn’s power.

As their journey continues, Luna experiences visions of the first Oracle and her ancestor, Aera, who tells her that things are not as they seem and who pleads for Luna to save Ardyn from himself and the cruel fate the gods have in store for him.

Luna begins to wonder if all of the gods have the best intentions.

Turns out, Bahamut is tired of dealing with humans and their free will and wants to destroy them all, leaving Eos a destroyed wasteland. He’d previously attempted this with Ardyn as his pawn, but was unsuccessful and lost control of the Accursed (and so had him imprisoned by his own brother on Angelgard).

Needless to say, Bahamut is not successful this time either. Luna learns of his plans and chooses not to follow them, Ardyn is his typical self and doesn’t do what anyone expects of him, and Noctis and his friends continue to fight even when the odds are stacked against them.

In the end, when dawn breaks, Luna, Noctis and crew, Sol and her family, and the survivors of the long night are greeted by the sun and the chance at a new, more prosperous life.

Ultimately, my takeaway from this novel is that the Final Fantasy XV story actually exists across multiple alternate timelines. This can be seen in the DLC Episode Ignis and which is even more noticeably in this novel. I think it’s an interesting position to take, where the ending in the main game isn’t the only ending out there. Noctis and Luna don’t have to die, Ardyn can be redeemed, and Bahamut gets his butt kicked… these are all things I can get behind, lol.

Fandom has a mechanism in place for this, the “Everyone Lives, Nobody Dies AU”, but it’s not so often that the actual creators offer the same. I’m just sad that we didn’t get to see the final three DLC released for this game.


Find it at…

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Book Review | Carthago by Christophe Bec

Title: Carthago

Author: Christophe Bec, Eric Henninot, Milan Jovanovic

Publisher: Humanoids, Inc.

Release date: August 6, 2019

Format: Paperback

Page count: 288

Genre: Science-fiction

My rating: ★★★★☆


Carthago contains the first five issues of the popular French comic book series all in one convenient paperback edition.

I requested this title through my library’s Inter-Library Loan service and it came from the Las Vegas – Clark County Library District!

My mother was a travel nurse for many years and when she was working in Las Vegas, we had a card for the system. When we visited a couple of years later, we made sure to stop by the library just because we could, lol.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I added this to my to-read list, but I knew I liked sharks and oceans are a great source of mystery… so I was pretty sure I’d enjoy at least a little of this comic.

Having just completed Carthago, I can say that it’s well worth the read. From the moment I opened the front cover to turning the last page, I could not put it down!

The novel starts as it means to go on… bloody. An older whale, trailing behind it’s pod is attacked by a shark, bitten in half, and it’s body left to sink into the forgotten waters of the deep. And this is just the first victim of these larger than life sharks!

And then we begin to meet our human characters, of whom I was particularly drawn to Donovan, a man serving out a life debt to the insanely rich (and old) Mr. Feiersinger, and Lou, let’s just call her a child of the sea, shall we. 😉

The story jumps around, visiting different locations and different moments in the character’s many varied histories, but it never once was confusing or difficult to follow.

It was like peeling back the skin of an onion to discover one new piece of information at a time. And I really liked the effect!

The other thing I really enjoyed in this series (and I can’t wait to get my hands on volumes 6-10) was the sheer scale of it all. When the humans are in the water or the when the sharks (and other creatures) are drawn in close to boats, you can practically feel the size differences.

These sharks are immense.

There is no other way to describe the Megalodon. It could bite a whale in half and swallow a human whole without batting an eye and Carthago brings this fact into striking reality time and time again.

The mysteries of an ancient, underwater civilization, the tempting intrigue of the human-like being that saved a diver, and a little girl who is of two worlds is just the very tip of the iceberg for Carthago.


Find it at…

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Two Book Tuesday

I’m sitting here, enjoying the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, waiting for my coffee to finish brewing and thinking about the books for today. It’s the kind of morning where you could easily have slept in, or pulled yourself from that comfy place under the covers and enjoy the sun coming up on a new day.

Tuesday just might be my favorite day of the week.

But you’re not here to listen to me go on and on about days of the week, lol, you’re here for the books! Rather than including a book I’m reading and one I’m about to read, this Two Book Tuesday is about two books that I am reading. They’re a little behind from their original TBR month, but life has conspired to keep me from my ‘4 books a month’ goal, lol.

I hope you enjoy my rambling about two really good books!


Now that I have a computer again, I can spend money during the Steam Summer Sales, lol. One of the games I purchased was the Windows version of one of my favorite PS4 games, Final Fantasy XV.

Between fighting zombies in 7 Days to Die and the Covenant in Halo: Reach, I started a brand new game in Final Fantasy XV and it felt a little like coming home, which is the best way to tell if the game was good for you. 🙂

The Dawn of the Future begins near the end of the game, but before the final battle and epilogue.

We get to see Ardyn as the healer king and his tense relationship with his brother Somnus, learn more about Niflheim and it’s people, and we get to see Luna in her wedding dress, yay!

I’ve really only taken a nibble of this book, but I’m already hoping for a happy ending.

Oh, and the artwork is absolutely breathtaking! There are images of characters both known and unknown, illustrations of events past and future, and towards the back of the book a collection of promotional pictures.


I’m half-listening and half-reading Undetected by Dee Henderson, lol.

Purchased as a title from Kindle, I decided to try out the Audible Whispersync function. Basically, you get to listen to someone reading you the book while it follows along by highlighting the words being spoken.

So far, it’s a pretty fun book.

I really enjoy the camaraderie the captain and crew of the USS Nevada have for each other and the rivalry they have with the blue crew, with whom they share joint custody of the submarine.

It’s fun and believable and really helps to show the family that these crews become to one another whilst aboard their ship.

This bit made me laugh out loud when I read it…

We’re going to snuggle with the Seawolf. Let’s remind them who’s the better boat.

Mark Bishop captains the USS Nevada, spending months at sea before coming ashore to watch another captain take the submarine out before he gets to return to her. Mark desperately wants to find a wife that he can build a relationship with, honor as God requires, and love for the rest of his days. But he’s still not 100% over the death of his first wife and it’s made him skittish to try his hand at dating again. He’s looking for serious and isn’t sure he’s going to find it.

And Gina Grey? Well, she’s a wicked smart woman who dreams of being married before she’s thirty. After a bad break-up, she moves out west to be with her brother, to work, and hopefully to find the man of her dreams. She’s been praying for the right man to come into her life and maybe, just maybe that man is the one she meets when he’s buying ice cream after returning to shore.

These two are super cute together, their love for God and for each other is refreshing to see and I look forward to reading more of Dee Henderson’s works in the future.

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Book Review | Alphabits Series by Susi Hawke & Crista Crown (part 2)

The Alphabits series, written by Susi Hawke and Crista Crown, is a spin-off of their other series, Team A.L.P.H.A. They are a team comprised mainly of Alphas who have all chosen to specialize in cases dealing with shifter pups.

Here are my thoughts on the last three books in the series…


Book five introduces a minuscule BDSM element into the Alphabits series…

When Patton and Finn go out to meet up with an informant who is looking for help in finding the kids he considers family, Patton never expects to find his mate.

Then again, Axel (former thief, omega, and go-go dancer) only ever thought true-mates were a fairy tale. But neither man is willing to let the other go, not now that they’ve found each other.

I really liked how much Axel cares about the kids he used to run with. This story has all the earmarks of found-family (which I adore) with a little bit of thievery and, of course, an evil gang leader.

One of the other things I enjoyed in Twisted was getting to see Finn settle into his place with the Alphabits. A little bit of hazing, via catnip and laser pointers, and he finally starts to unwind a little. Can’t wait to read his book… something’s going on with this one, I can tell.


Silenced is book six in the series and sadly, my least favorite…

Our big bear shifter, Cyrus, finally meets his omega when Leaf decides to track down the man who’s scent he had smelled all over another alpha while trying to stop his brother from making bad decisions with STAHP… ALPHA’s rival organization.

I enjoyed that Cyrus had decided to take Nate, one of the kids from the last book, under his wing and how he has absolutely NO idea what to do with a teenager!

Leaf is treated as so, terribly fragile in just about every situation… especially after he gets pregnant, which seriously? Super potent alphas, we get it. *eyeroll* He keeps saying he’s stronger than Cyrus thinks, but is never really allowed to show off his own strengths. Cyrus’ family is basically the local chapter of the Russian mob, but nothing really comes of it except for a brief, VERY brief, moment of tension.

It’s not a terrible addition to the series and it was nice to see the Chucky and Morgan were able to be re-united, but it felt like it was just filling space to me.


Finally getting to Finn’s book with number 7 in the series!

Turns out, Finn’s true mate is Antonio Montoya, the leader of STAHP. He’s none too happy to discover this, but it’s hard to turn away from the draw of his true mate… maybe he can influence Antonio’s decisions and get STAHP to stop eating their victims?

I wanted SO BADLY to enjoy this book! I love Finn in every other encounter we get to see him in! But I’m sad that these last three books seem to turn omega’s into simpering messes who just want to be with their mates, pregnant and kept without any agenda of their own.

I would have love, love, loved to see Antonio actually have to work to court Finn and gain his favor. It would have been amazing for Finn to keep his backbone after meeting/mating Antonio. Instead, as soon as they get hot and heavy, he becomes the “perfect omega” ready and willing to bend over and do whatever his alpha needs.


Format: eBooks
Publisher: Hawke & Crown LLC
Source: Amazon Kindle Unlimited
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon || Goodreads

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Book Review | Alphabits Series by Susi Hawke & Crista Crown (part 1)

I must have fallen down the ABO / Shapeshifter / True mates hole (truly, no pun intended here), because this is the second series I’ve recently read in this particular genre.

The Alphabits series, written by Susi Hawke and Crista Crown, is actually a spin-off of their other series, Team A.L.P.H.A.

The team is comprised mainly of Alphas who’ve chosen to specialize in cases dealing with shifter pups.


Book one starts with Dean and his Alpha, Sam, moving into their new house a few months before their baby will be born.

Sam is getting his new team together, the Alphabits, and testing to see how all of the team members will mesh in the long run.

But both of these things pale next to the, possibly abused, shifter pup who lives across the street.

For the most part, this is a great introduction to a new series. My only complaint would be that there wasn’t much in the way of character development. Although, this is probably because it’s a spin-off and I’m unfamiliar with the main series. 😛


Probably my favorite of the series…

Book two had me hooked from the minute I read about Adrian. An omega working at a daycare, Adrian loves being able to spend time with the kids and help his brother in caring for his nephew.

But when Pierce and Cyrus show up at the daycare to take custody of his nephew, things take a turn for the worse.

I really enjoy how take-control Adrian is, he’s not just going to roll over and do whatever an alpha (even if it’s his alpha) tells him to. Especially when kids are involved. He continually makes his own decisions and is fiercely loyal to his family. Now Pierce? Well, he needs a kick in the butt… and also to do whatever Adrian tells him to, lol.


Book three is all about Gizmo, the techiest alpha to ever alpha, and Micah, an omega who helps shifter kids escape from a cult-run conversion camp.

In order to keep his part in the underground network a secret, Micah lives entirely off the grid, which makes it all the more amazing for him to meet his true-mate. But, when Gizmo and Ozzy come across him while he’s helping a shifter pup escape, that’s exactly what happens.

Sparks fly and Gizmo and Micah embrace their mating bond in record time before working to close the conversion camp.

All in all, a cute addition to the series.


Chained is the first time in the series that the Alphabits team works with another species of shifter (not counting Cyrus).

This time it’s fennec fox shifters and brothers to boot. Lance Lancaster (yeah, his parents are jerks) doesn’t care about his high society upbringing or social status, he just wants to find his little brother, Spencer, who was kidnapped from his school and seemingly disappeared.

The Alphabits team decides to resurrect this cold-case and recruit Lance to help.

Spencer is autistic and when you’re reading from his point of view, it is written in a believable way. Kudos to the author’s for this. It was sort of horrifying to find that there are alphas in this universe who would kidnap and groom CHILDREN to be their mates when they come of age, but I guess that’s what the Alphabits do? Deal with the criminal element and all.


Format: eBooks
Publisher: Hawke & Crown LLC
Source: Amazon Kindle Unlimited
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon || Goodreads

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Book Review | Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

One of the first fantasy series I can remember reading was the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce and I fell in love from the very first page.

Song of the Lioness follows the life of one Alanna of Trebond, a young girl who switches places with her brother so that she can be a knight and he a mage.

Along the way, she discovers that the gods have taken an interest in her, even if she would very much rather they hadn’t.


Alanna of Trebond has always dreamed of being a knight, of protecting the kingdom of Tortall and proving herself a hero worthy of great tales.

But she doesn’t take into account the years of hard work and secrets she must keep from those closest to her. Alanna can tell no one that she is a girl, not when she is being bullied and certainly not when puberty hits an her body begins to change against her will.

Be warned: this isn’t a story where things come easy to our main character.

One of the best things about this series is that Alanna questions her decisions. When she begins her training as a knight and discovers just how much hard work it takes, she wants to give up and go home, thinking ‘how could a girl ever do this?’ Instead, she buckles down and works hard to get what she wants.

The first hints of the strength of Alanna’s magical abilities and glimpses of her grand destiny begin to show, no matter how hard she tries to ignore them, but the will of the gods can not be ignored. Her begrudging attitude towards the use of magic is one of the things I like most about Alanna, she isn’t afraid to backtalk her friends, superiors, or even the gods.

Alanna’s interactions with her friends and mentors is so, so great! These people have become her family and she would die for them, if she needed to. Not only does she befriend the nobles, but she also manages to become close friends with George, the “king of thieves.”

I think that the relationships are what really makes this series great… you can’t help but find yourself rooting for everyone in whatever situation they may find themselves in.


Format: e-Audio book
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio
Source: Overdrive
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Amazon || Goodreads

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Book Review | The Royal Alphas series by J.J. Masters

This series was suggested to me a long time ago and I’ve forgotten by whom, but they certainly knew how much I love reading stories about selkies.

It’s possibly my favorite of all the cryptids and it’s always interesting to see what new spin an author will take with the myth…

The Royal Alphas series follows, you guessed it, five royal alpha brothers as they go about their lives and try to find their true mates (even while their father tries to force things to go his way).

The world building in this series is quite good, from the different kingdoms with their own varied rules for how each caste (gender) is expected to behave and what they are even allowed to do to the way that half-breeds and humans are treated. It’s all quite well written.


In book one we meet Kai and his true mate, Luca.

As the firstborn son of the king, Kai is expected to follow in his father’s footsteps and produce an heir… but his father decrees that his Kai must get his omega pregnant within six months and that his firstborn child must be an alpha.

The story follows the stress and overwhelming worry as Kai and Luca try to get to know each other and as they try to get pregnant, all while Kai’s father has a “back-up” omega in case they fail.


I kind of thought this was a cute-ish book?

Hard-ass Adrian is second in line for the throne, even though he’s first in line for behaving exactly like his father, believing it is his duty to follow the traditions set by the council.

When he meets Del, an omega who hid his status in order to become a guard and serve the king, Adrian begins to question those beliefs… so he can protect his mate.


When Zale decides to warn Finn that he shouldn’t be sleeping with Zale’s younger brother, he finds the omega in the throws of his heat. He isn’t able to say no.

Finn is entirely off limits, as the omega his father brought as back-up for his firstborn and possibly for himself… but something about him has a hold of Zale and doesn’t want to let go.

When Finn becomes pregnant with Zale’s pup, he mourns the fact that he’s taken away the prince’s chance at finding his true mate.

Basically, they are both dense and need a smack up alongside their respective heads. 😛


My favorite of the series.

Book four brings Nic to the forefront, as he falls into bed with Marlin, his former lover’s younger brother… and yeah, things are about as awkward as you think.

Marlin knows his father will make him find his true mate, but he can’t stop thinking about Nic. The human consumes his every thought and he has no idea why.

But Nic has a secret. One he’s been keeping for years and that he is terrified someone will discover.


Definitely a close second for my favorite book in the series, book five FINALLY gives us an omega son! I call bull that every other baby has been an alpha, but what can you do?

After years of infidelity, Caol is finally ready to settle down with his beta Beck, but just as he’s made up his mind, an omega shows up with his son!

The omega, Galen, is Caol’s fated mate and Beck resigns himself to being set aside as the two become mates and start their family… but Caol has other plans in mind, if he can only convince Galen and Beck to go along with him.


Format: eBook
Publisher: J.J. Masters
Source: Amazon Kindle
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon || Goodreads

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Two Book Tuesday

I’ve mostly been taking a break from the internet these last few weeks. It’s so disheartening to hear about how bad the world is and I just needed a break. Just taking time to sit and enjoy the quiet peace of a chair in the sun and some knitting.

After I finish studying for my trigonometry class in the evenings I’ve been re-playing the Mass Effect trilogy of games on my PS3. I’m pleased to say that I have successfully completed a hardcore play through of the first game AND got the platinum trophy for game two… just mopping up trophies left and right, lol.

And, I know it’s what you’re here for, so here’s what I’ve been reading…

This comic follows Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker on one of their early missions to find the source of a distress beacon. They crash land on a planet still fighting the civil war that destroyed their civilization and are quickly drawn into the plotting of each side.

It’s an interesting story, you get to see Palpatine’s machinations in both Anakin’s life and the day-to-day happenings of the Jedi temple… and yeah, it’s pretty insidious (no pun intended, lol).

If you like the Star Wars franchise or either of these two main characters, then I would certainly say that this comic is a good one for you to read.


The cover of The Trouble with Hating You immediately caught my eye in the newsletter I’d received. A moment later and my brain caught up with the title and I knew that I would absolutely have to get my hands on this book!

From the description, it sounds like author Sajni Patel has come up with a witty, enemies to lovers, office romance and I can’t wait to read it. 😀