September 02, 2023

Offbeat Offline: August 2023 (...and a New, Month-Long Hiatus)

Welcome to Offbeat Offline, where I bring you up-to-date with what went on in my life during the month just gone, give you a sneak peek of my next shenanigans, and share my favourite posts of late!

What happened last month to yours truly? New heatwave, new eye visit, and I watched Good Omens 2 ðŸ¤©. Nothing actually bad occurred (OK, nothing actually good either, but I'll still call it a win?), except for almost getting baked on the asphalt/having a heat-induced nervous breakdown at home multiple times...but thank goodness the season's worst is over now (I hope...). Also, I've been busy scheduling my October posts because I'm taking a blogging break on September...

📚 THE WHOLE PACKAGE. I read 7 books (3 novels and 4 novellas) in August, 3 of them ARCs (and got approved for 4 more!). A pretty good batch, both quantity- and quality-wise (then again, there were 5 Seanan McGuire books under three different pen names in it...hence the title of this section). Here's a rundown of my bookish activity for the month... 

I requested it on NG and EW...and was approved on both sites. It's about a woman who, since she was a kid, has been able to see "an infinite number of versions of herself, in an infinite number of parallel universes", until, after an accident, she starts jumping from one timeline to another - except apparently there's a lot more to it...It's a February release.
Set aboard a luxury hotel that cruises from planet to planet, it's said to be "a hopeful story of misfits, rebels and found family, perfect for fans of Becky Chambers" (Greg, I'm looking at you 😉). Out in March.

  • Lockjaw by Matteo L. Cerilli (YA, supernatural/horror)
A trans YA horror debut featuring a crew of inseparable childhood friends, described as "a small-town ghost story where monsters living and dead haunt the streets, the homes and the minds of the inhabitants". Out in June.
A girl grieving her brother's death - especially because, the last time they were together, they fought - "discovers a portal to another dimension underneath New York City, one that just might offer an opportunity for a do-over as a better version of herself". It's a January release. And oh, the publisher autoapproved me on EW!

Reread for full-review purposes - on the blog next month.
ARC. I loved it! Mini review on GR for now, later on the blog (in October), but I plan on writing a full-length one closer to pub date (which is in January).

  • Unbreakable by Mira Grant (Adult, urban fantasy - novella)
I loved this one too! Again, mini review on GR for now, later on the blog (in October). And for those in the back - Mira Grant is Seanan McGuire 🙂.
Another ARC. Another McGuire-in-disguise release 😁. Another mini review to come in October, closer to pub date.

Yet another ARC. Excellent read! Review to come...take a guess? in October, closer to pub date 🙂.
Josh managed to surprise me. I'll post a review for this one in October as well!
  • Seasonal Fears (Alchemical Journeys #2) by Seanan McGuire (Adult, urban fantasy)
This one was another reread (see Lost in the Moment and Found above), so I'm linking to my review. These days I'm trying to reread at least one book a month, and in August I was able to squeeze in two ✌️.

  • Lost in the Moment and Found (Wayward Children #8) by Seanan McGuire (see above)
Scheduled for October 5th.
  • Catfish Rolling by Clara Kumagai (see above)
Scheduled for October 9th.
  • Burn the Negative by Josh Winning (see above)
Scheduled for October 19th.

Normally at this point I would list the reviews I plan on posting and the TMST prompts I plan on answering in September, but since I decided to go on hiatus, I've got nothing. My next blogging foray will be at the beginning of October, with a new Offbeat Offline installment (unless B.C. Johnson finally manages to self-publish the last book in his Deadgirl series next month, because there's no way I'm not going to read and review THAT as soon as I get an ARC. But I haven't heard anything yet, so...).

😈😇INEFFABLE DUO. The good news first - I watched Good Omens 2, and what can I say...David Tennant is a lifeline. So talented, so nuanced, so funny, so...well, hot when he needs to be 😂 (and an absolute gem of a human being on top of that - he keeps showing how his heart is in the right place). He always manages to make me forget the world for a while, and I need that SO DAMN MUCH. Regarding GO - he and Michael Sheen are the ultimate Odd Couple and a real powerhouse, and they play each other so perfectly. Bring on Good Omens 3, please and thank you (also because...cliffhanger much?).
(I know, I know, we're in the middle of a strike, so I guess we'll have to wait a bit for that...and I wholeheartedly support the fight, so I'll be patient...#PayYourWriters #PayYourActors 😡).

🩹MEDICAL ROUND-UP. I booked a new eye visit because I was seeing more floaters in my twice-lasered left eye (in addition to the by-now usual flashes), and I wanted to make sure there wasn't a new retinal hole, which turned out not to be the case. Not being able to rely on the flashes anymore in order to tell if something is wrong with my eye sucks big time. In the meantime, my husband had his first leg check-up in two months, and his ulcer has shrunk by 1 mere centimeter (about 0,40 inches) does look better overall, but the progress is sluggish to say the least. We're waiting for his heel to fully heal so that he can start moving around a little, but with such a leg wound, I don't know when he'll be able to go out...😫

💸MONEY'S TOO TIGHT TO MENTION. August 31st marked the end of my unemployment benefits. Now I'm only left with my husband's salary (which he's still receiving while he's nursing himself back to health - thanks to the system for that) and my parents' financial help (and since they're in their 80s, I don't know for how long). It's not enough, not with the way things are going. And even if I happen to find a job that doesn't require a driving licence or the kind of experience that I don't have, I can't accept one while my husband's still bedridden/housebound, because he needs help and everything's on me. I could juggle a part-time job, but those are super-rare, so...😢 I keep looking anyway - wish me luck...

🥵HOT SPOT.  After less than a couple of weeks of tolerable heat, the temps started rising again a few days before mid-August, and didn't let up until the end of the month. It was torture all over again - and again, the only way to survive was to sit next to a fan and eat stuff that didn't need actual cooking...In the last days of August we had some rain and wind that cleared the air a bit, though it sounds like the temps are going to ramp up again - but probably in a more reasonable fashion...(here's hoping). I'm so DONE with summer 2023 😡 😫.

  • Seanan McGuire confirmed on Twitter that she’s writing a new Velveteen book, and I’m ecstatic (too bad publishers aren’t interested in letting her write more in her Indexing series. Yep, I asked her…). BTW, you can read my Velveeten vs. series review here.
  • Sorry to go all McGuire on you again, but...the new book in her Incryptid series has been announced! It's called Aftermarket Afterlife (tying back to the punny titles of the first installments). It's Mary's (crossroad ghost/babysitter) book.




That's it for now. My next post will be up on October 1st, and it will be an Offbeat Offline installment. Now I'll retire in my cave, do my best to put some of my ARCs behind me (I have six, yikes, and they're making me anxious even if they're months away from publication...I read fast, but reviews have become a cumbersome affair) and try to resume housekeeping after a summer's worth of neglect...See you in a month!

So, what were your highs/lows in the past month?


  1. Good luck on your job hunt, I hope you find one soon!
    Congrats to your hubby on the tumor shrinkage, that's fantastic news!
    I started Good Omens and love it... and now I look forward to a cliffhanger... geez.
    Happy September!

    1. Thank you! Not a tumor though, thank goodness - a "simple" ulcer 🙂.

      Ha! I loved Good Omens 2 more than the first one (especially because it's more Crowley-and-Aziraphale-centered)...but there's that ending...brace yourself! 😉

      Happy September to you!

  2. I'm glad to hear that your husband's wound is healing a bit. Hopefully the floaters in your eye don't get any worse. Looking forward to some good books hopefully you find some that you really like to read. And hoping things start to cool down for you there.

    1. Things are SO SLOW with the hubs 😭. At least I've been mostly lucky with my books this year, and I hope the streak continues...Thank you!

  3. Thank you for sharing my post Roberta! Ah yes, nervous breakdowns and financial woes... I know exactly how you're feeling having just moved. Everything is just too expensive and ugh, anyways, hugs all around.

    1. So I guess it's the same everywhere...the prices ramping up. I hope the move is worth it for you - and thanks!

  4. Heat is the worst. I mean, our air went out for almost a week (I know, boo hoo) and it was horrible. To not have air and just... bake for weeks at a time... you have my respect lol for surviving that! Anyway Floating Hotel I'm DEFINITELY going to get!

    Those damn dinosaurs on Mislaid keep calling me! And catfish Rolling I'm going to get.

    I'm glad your eye was okay and good luck with your husband- I hope that continues to heal.

    1. Haha, bake, exactly. I remember your AC incident...I guess one should always have a couple of emergency fans, just in case - though it's not the same...

      Let the dinosaurs lure you in LOL. Though as I told you, there's not that much of them in the book. I guess they were used for the cover because they're marketable and, out of everything that's in the story, they were the only thing that could make the aforementioned cover stand out...but the series as a whole is SO worth it!

      Thank you!

    2. I'm so bummed about the dinosaurs. I mean, that cover...!! I'll have to write my own. But seriously I am thinking of binging that whole series... they're not that long, and even if the dinosaurs are a minor part, still... dinos...

    3. "I'll have to write my own"
      LOL, there's an idea!

      Binging...there's another one 😉.

  5. You've been through it a bit, but I'm glad things are starting to look up for y'all!

  6. I can't wait to read your review of Burn the Negative and Mislaid in Parts Half Known😁 I hope your weather gets better soon!

    1. Contrary to your experience, BTN worked better for me in its second half. Mislaid, I loved!

  7. "nothing actually bad occurred" At this point take it and run lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  8. Those books have such great covers. I wish I have the desire to read them.

    It's hot here too. The weather is just weird. We're still having hot days even now in September.

    You must be tired with so much going on. I think taking September off from blogging is good. Sometimes a break is good. I hope you are having a relax and cool September.

    Have a lovely day.

    1. The hot days have started again here too! It's neverending AND everywhere - just crazy.

      Thank you - I hope you're having a nice month as well!

  9. Good Omens is a wonderful show! But yes that was a doozy of a cliffhanger. I'm so sorry for all the problems. I've known other bloggers who are assistants to authors, working entirely online. Idk if that's something you could or would want to do (and you don't have to explain if it's not), just a possible idea. Maybe it will at least get less hot soon!

    1. Re.: GO -> Ha, right? But I'm sure the third season will get done, once the strike comes to an end (though it doesn't sound like it will happen soon).

      I didn't know of that. Anyhow - taking it for granted that someone would be interested in working with me - it's complicated...For starters, I would have to work freelance, which would pose a lot of problems when it comes to taxes and whatnot (I would need someone to take care of that end for me, and it would cost me). Secondly, all my possible contacts are in the US (a handful in the UK), and I would have to get paid in dollars and then resort to currency exchange. Finally...I don't think I would like that. It would turn something I love into a chore, the way it happened when I worked in radio, and probably suck the joy out of reading, reviewing and beta-reading. I just want something that pays the bills and lets me enjoy my things in peace in my free time, except every job post asks you to be "experienced" and a "car owner" (even when the job doesn't have anything to do with traveling), and even when they don't and I can apply, I never hear back from the recruiter because, duh, there are tons of younger people around they'd rather employ...😥

  10. 'Nothing actually bad occurred (OK, nothing actually good either, but I'll still call it a win?)' - MOOD! Lol.

    Enjoy your break and rest up good! <3

    1. "MOOD! Lol."
      😂 I know...

      Thank you!


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