September 25, 2019

Goodbye Cruel Summer - Hallo(ween) Sweet October

...This summer has been the pits, my friends. THE PITS 😓 😫.

I know it's customary for me to annoy you with my severe case of summer allergy every year, not to mention, to write posts where I'm embracing the fall with all my might. But every year it feels like the "happy season" is harder and harder for me to endure. It might be part old age creeping in, part summers getting more and more heated and humid and all things EEEEEW and AAAAARGH. Because, if summer of '18 was unrelenting and unforgiving, summer of '19 sure stepped up its game. In between June and July, we had a huge heatwave that lasted around 3 weeks (!!!) - then it rained, so we got a brief respite. But the second heatwave was just around the corner, and the third a few days later. It was hard to sleep properly (especially given my muscular problems - my legs always get crampy and/or achy in the heat) without air conditioning - we and the hubs usually put a big fan at the foot of the bed and make it rotate, but of course it's not much. Lunches and dinners have, more often than not, consisted of cold cuts, canned tuna/spam salads, the quickest things to cook we could come up with...and a few times, even ice cream (and I don't even have a sweet tooth. The hubs does, though...). I couldn't bear the very thought of eating hot meals, let alone COOKING them. And the house, it goes without saying, was a mess. So,'s been a drag 😵.

This would be a live footage of me this summer, if I only were a man and owned a cat...

To top it all, remember my friend and her partner I sometimes mentioned in my tweets? the ones we used to spend the occasional night out and celebrate New Year's Eve with...and the only friends we have left (because we suck at friending, plus my hubs' health problems get in the way)? Well, he's been diagnosed with a brain tumor - and a bad one at that (which also means it's inoperable). He lost his short-term memory on top of that, get the picture. The doctors are treating him with chemo, and he might get better for a while, but whatever they do, I'm afraid he won't last long. It was all so sudden - and he's a kind and considerate guy who doesn't deserve this 😢.

Blog-wise, things have gone well - because of course not having a life + heat + tiredness = staying home and churning out posts. I already had most of September and October scheduled at the beginning of I enjoyed a buddy read with my friend Carrie during the same the two of us got Erin Callahan's WIP for beta-read (you remember Erin - the author of The Art of Escaping...and the one I've been collaborating with for a while as a beta-reader. She's working on a killer contemporary-horror NA - pun intended 😁 - with queer characters, including an ace lead!). I also finally joined NetGalley and downloaded my first novel (a Read Now one, of course, since with my small, small following, I didn't dare to request anything yet, though I did wish for a few books. Can't hurt). I hate the fact that you can't keep your ebooks...that's the main reason why I didn't join NG until this summer. But I had to face the fact that I hadn't reviewed a new book (let alone an ARC) since Curiosity Quills Press went out of business at the end of last I'm too broken to take a gamble on all the books I'd like to read (as in, by buying them) I reasoned that I can always buy the NG books later if I end up liking them enough. So, my first NG review will go live on Sep. 29th! Plus, lo and behold...a few weeks after, I finally mustered the courage to actually REQUEST a book from there, and to my astonishment, I got approved the day after! And I found another Read Now book from an author I was familiar with, so I snatched that one too LOL. Then I went wild and requested another book that I was sure I would be denied (the publisher's approval requirements were intimidating to say the least, plus remember I still had ZERO ratio) and...I got approved for that one too?! 😮 More of that soon!

On a side note, I started reaching out to more bloggers and making new friends. Most of those things were made easier by my boss going on holiday for three weeks in August as usual (and from Aug 12th to 18th, I got a holiday week too). I would just crank up the A/C at work and blog/read/interact like there was no tomorrow! It serves my boss well for all the crap he puts me through...and for not paying me enough 😠. [Note: I have a job update as well, but this thing is getting long, so...later].

Sorry, I usually try to keep the place clean, so to speak - but I couldn't help myself. Here's to you, boss.

Oh, and...remember that adult sci-fi book that I tried to order twice for my Christmas hauls, and my webseller was never able to locate? Man in the Empty Suit by Sean Ferrell? Well, I won a giveaway (my second this year!) offered by one of the most recent additions to my blogroll, The Orangutan Librarian. So I decided to claim that book as a prize, and I finally got to read it! It even was as great as I hoped, go figure. Thank you again Rivka!

Finally, my friend and fellow David Tennant adorer Fanni asked me for help with deciding which of her works-in-progress she should submit to a literary contest. It was like beta-reading at a different level, and I hope I was able to counsel her wisely! I also hope she wins of course, so she can dedicate her first published book to yours truly 😂.

...So, that's it for the time being. Right now I'm just relieved that I put the summer behind me, and I'm looking forward to breathing/sleeping/eating properly again (which has been happening already since the first days of the month, to be honest...though I already caught the first throat-ache of the season, which is the only real downfall of not-summer for me, and a BIG one). Plus I already have my Halloween post series scheduled, 2018-style (that is, I'm reviewing a dark/creepy book a week just like I did last year). I can't wait for you to meet my monsters! 😂

How has this summer treated you? Are you looking forward to the fall (and Halloween)?


  1. I love summer, but the weather has been getting crazy warm these past two years. I don't remember such long heatwaves as we got this summer, and neither does my mom. What made it really bad for us was that trains that come here are not air conditioned, and so they were pretty much like a sauna. Also, we repainted my room in 34 degrees -had to open the windows to let out the smell of paint, of course, so all the hot came in. We DIED- it is my ghost writing this. 😂 Also, my dumb ass wanted to eat pancakes in one of the hottest days - my mom said "sure, we can if you make them" so I went and made them, and was sweating buckets by the end. I have the worst ideas. 😂

    Oh no, I'm so sorry about your friend! That's awful, I'm sending love. 💜

    I still need to read Erin Callahan's book, but omg, her horror sounds great - and it has an ace lead! Can't wait. :) You 1000% deserve all the blogging time at your job, haha, and I can't wait to hear your job update. 💜 Also, I'm excited for your October reviews! :)

    1. Quote: "trains that come here are not air conditioned".
      NONE of them?!? Yikes. Though to be honest, it's a LONG while since I took a train myself, so I don't know how Italy's faring in that department.

      LOL, your adventures in painting and pancakes are funny. I would have literally eaten bread and butter every single day, had it been the only way to avoid cooking AND sweating over it. Your mom was smart 😂.

      Thank you. The poor guy.

      I'm sure you would like The Art of Escaping, and as a horror fan, you will definitely like Erin's new book (tentative title "Black Dog White Rabbit") when it comes out.

      Alas, my job update is nothing major - I wish it was. I just righted a wrong after, like, 20 years 😱 😂.

      Thank you hon! I hope the horror lover in you won't get disappointed 😉.

    2. On our route none of them are. :( Funnily enough, some of the trains for shorter routes are air-conditioned, which is unfair af.

      Righting a wrong can still be a big deal! Do not sell yourself short!!

      And I'm sure I won't be disappointed. :)

    3. Unfair, indeed!

      Thank you sweetie!

  2. I can relate to you about not wanting to eat hot meals. I sweat it out until the meal and then get cool by a fan because we have no air conditioning either. Now and then I think of taking long train rides - they have air conditioners in the trains - but it's not so great once you step outside and the blasted heat would seem much worse.

    I'm looking forward the fall weather but I'm not a fan of Halloween. There were a few scary times when people throw eggs and such so now I always feel a bit creep out going out on Halloween. I remember this girl wearing goth makeup on the train and I thought she was cool, like some mysterious witch that will put spells on you if you stare at her long enough. I actually admired her for that but I don't think she was wearing it as a costume but rather that is her every day look. Even though I'm a bit scare to go out on Halloween day, I sometimes think I can be daring in makeup on that day.

    Have a lovely day

    1. The train idea is LOL, but I get what you mean.

      Halloween is still a recent (imported) tradition here in Italy - it didn't exist when I was the appropriate age for it. I mean...I would like to get dressed and everything, even now...but unless you go to a Halloween party, going out in a costume would look a tad inappropriate when nearing 53 LOL.

      Wow, the egg-throwing is NOT cool at all. I hate it when people turn a celebration into an occasion for mischief. Our Carnival used to be like that - I think it's much more disciplined now, because you need a ticket to enter the allegorical wagons' routes. I don't know what happens outside of them because I haven't attended a Carnival celebration in ages (but I did when I was younger, and I dressed up for a few of them).

      I hope you get daring one day! It feels quite liberating to be able to wear a different skin for a day (even more so if it's something that reflects a part of your inner self that's usually forced to stay quiet).

  3. I can relate to the cruel summer weather. That's how it always is for about 3 months in the NE US, but there are places with worst weather, and at least I have a/c. Sorry to hear about your friend. There's really nothing I can say, but ((HUGS)) to you.

    Go! Request away on NG. The worst thing that could happen is they say no. I just got 4 rejects on Edelweiss yesterday (all the same pub), and I will still keep trying.

    1. And the older we get, the harder it is to endure the heat!

      Thank you 😘.

      Ha! I know, and it's only a click after all - it's not like you have to write a formal request every time. But I thought it was useless for the likes of me to request at this stage. I don't know how they choose their reviewers - I suspect it's random, despite all the requirements listed in the pub's page LOL. Ouch! Four rejects from the same pub sound harsh. You work hard at blogging and have a solid followers' count, so HOW DARE THEY?!?

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. The summer has certainly been a rough one for me too, and I'm happy to see it go. Halloween month is just next week! Fingers crossed that my favorite holiday season brings about better times for all. Congrats again on your NG books! I can't wait to read your new reviews AND your spooky October ones! 💛🎃

    1. Thank you hon. Here's hope that October will bring something better for both of us! LOL, I know you love your Halloween.

      I still can't believe I was approved for those two books. It's a good thing that I already had all my October reviews in place minus one. And I know you'll be my audience for those - though honestly, you always are! 😘

  5. I can't live in my part of the country without AC! You and your husband are such troopers to be able to endure that Roberta!! i totally hear you though about being unable to heat during the hot weather. It does make for fascinating meals.

    Sounds like you have lots to do with beta reading! How exciting is that?! I hope you get that dedication. ❤️

    I enjoy Netgalley. It's always odd to me what I get approved for and what I don't. I added my numbers to the site but I think that may have been a mistake. Not sure, sometimes I think its just fate that I don't get some books that in the end I may not have liked! I hope you continue to get the books you hope for. :D

    1. Haha, "fascinating" is the word!

      The NG thing is unfathomable. The publishers I requested my two books from seem to have very high standards (one even says you should have "above average" reach, that is, be able to spread the word about their books other than on LibraryThing or Goodreads). Now, I only have my blog, GR and Twitter. Also, NG makes such a fuss about your ratio having to be 80% or higher, and I didn't have any to begin with (now I have submitted my first review and am at 25%). That's crazy - not that I'm complaining LOL. Of course, one has to start somewhere, but I supposed that they expected you to review a few Read Now books before you requested one and got approved!

      Maybe it is fate! Some blurbs are so enticing, and then the book falls short of them for some reason. At this point, I don't think they're looking at our profiles at all before approving us LOL. Or maybe they do once in a while. Or maybe they just like to take a chance on new reviewers LOL.

  6. For the first time in a few decades I LOVED my summer lol But I had different stresses instead and you know about my recent cold snap. BRRRRR

    I'm so sorry about your friend.

    And I'm glad you were brave enough to request a few things on Netgalley. It really is just a crap shoot. People with huge following get rejected and small peep sgets approved sometimes. It really just depends and worth the shot.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. I've been envious of your summer...but right now I don't think I'd like to be in your shoes LOL. I hope you have a strong immune system and don't get sick easily!

      Thank you.

      NG looks like a funny place. Indeed, there doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason behind the approvals (not to mention the weird ratio thing we were talking about on Twitter!). I kept hearing about friends with a decent/good follower trail who got denied this book and that, so I just thought I'd place a couple of requests just in case...I especially didn't think I'd get Reverie by Ryan La Sala, that seems to be getting some hype lately. My friend Carrie has got 1000 followers on Tumblr and she was rejected for it...

  7. Ah I sympathise about the heat- that's really tough. And I'm sorry to hear about your friend <3

    That's awesome that you got approved for your first book on netgalley!! :D And it's great you're enjoying blogging :)

    1. Thank you Rivka! And blogging takes its tool, but it's a life-saver in more than a way.


Welcome to Offbeat YA! I love hearing from you and always - I mean always - acknowledge your comments. This used to be a full democracy place, because anyone could comment, regardless of being a registered member of any community. Unfortunately, I had to turn off the Anonymous comment option, because I was getting too much spam that didn't get filtered. So, you’ll need to have a Google account (Gmail will suffice) in order to comment. Sorry about that. Anyway, jump right in! Come on, you know you want to...😉 And be sure to leave a link!
BTW...I don't care if a post is a million months old - you comment, I respond. And you make my day 😃.
Note: this is an award/tag free blog. Sorry I can't accept nominations due to lack of time.

As per the GDPR guidelines, here's the link to my Privacy Policy.