Heartbeat Monthly (33): February & March 2023 + Riven Launch

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on April 2, 2023 | 0 Comments

Riven launch

This was actually in January, but it happened after my last Heartbeat Monthly so I didn’t get to talk about it!

I live about an hour from the Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cinci. The event was on a Monday, which kinda sucked for me because it’s such a long drive and I work Tuesday mornings, but I went anyway! And I’m glad I did. It was great to go to an event at JB again! I haven’t been to one since before Covid, and this was only my second book event (the first was YALLfest) since 2020. I’m hoping they’ll start having more in-person events now.

Mindee is a local author here so she’s at the JB fairly frequently. Kristen is there all the time too, we’ve forged a friendship over the years because we’ve seen each other so many times! When I arrived at the bookstore, I went to buy Riven. When I was in line to checkout I was admiring the hair of the person in front of me because she had pretty purple hair, and then I realized it was Mindee herself! When she was done I sidled up to her and said, “Excuse me, ma’am. Do you think this book is good?” while holding out Riven. Lmaooo. She humored me with a laugh XD

She talked about Riven (which I am embarrassed to say I have not read yet), then opened the floor for questions. I wish I could talk about what she discussed, but I have the memory of a goldfish and didn’t take any notes because I suck. I’m pretty sure she said she wrote Riven when she was in a really dark place.

After the signing I stayed to talk to Kristen for a bit, and she told me about her new book coming out this fall, Find Him Where You Left Him Dead. She was describing it to me and it sounded EPIC (umm, Japanese Jumanji in the underworld yasssss) and I need to get my hands on it asap!! She also showed me the gorgeous cover, which I got to see before it was revealed on social media so I feel pretty special, haha. (I have since downloaded the eARC on NetGalley and will be reading it asap!)

February & March haul


  • Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao (Waterstones edition)
  • City of Bones collector’s edition (scored this one at Half Price for $12!)
  • Riven by Mindee Arnett (hand signed)
  • Enchanter by Sara Douglass (I have NEVER SEEN these editions before! I almost crapped my pants! I’m super bummed they didn’t have the first book.)
  • Starman by Sara Douglass
  • Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao (Illumicrate edition)
  • Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim (Fairyloot edition)

I actually missed getting into the Illumicrate sub for Song of Silver (I missed Godkiller, too) because I was on the waitlist forever, so I had to pay a stupid price for it in a BST group *eye roll* But I finally got off the waitlist a couple weeks ago!


  • Pinata by Leopoldo Gout (from publisher – thanks Tor Nightfire!!!)
  • Bring Me Your Midnight by Rachel Griffin (YALLfest ARC mailing)

February Wrap Up

Books I read

  • Fairy Tale by Stephen King – ★★★★
  • A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher – ★★★½
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – ★★★★
  • Descent by Alexandra Wood – ★★★
  • Episode Thirteen by Craig DiLouie – ★★★
  • Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross – ★★★★
  • Princess of Souls by Alexandra Christo – ★★★½

Pages read: 2,835
Average rating: 3.6
Favorite book read in February: Fairy Tale
Least favorite book read in February: Descent

Books I reviewed

Other posts

March Wrap Up

Books I read

  • Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame by Meg Long – ★★
  • The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi – ★★★★
  • The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis – ★★★★
  • The Last Laugh by Mindy McGinnis – ★★★★
  • New Dragon City by Mari Mancusi – DNF
  • Little Thieves by Margaret Owen – ★★★★★
  • The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen – DNF
  • Fire Season by David Weber & Jane Lindskold – ★★★
  • The Night Swim by Megan Goldin – ★★★★
  • Godkiller by Hannah Kaner – ★★★★

Pages read: 3,472
Average rating: 3.75
Favorite book read in March: Little Thieves
Least favorite book read in March: Swift the Storm

Books I reviewed

Other posts

What I’ve been up to


It was a fairly uneventful month! Which isn’t really a bad thing, considering how the past few months have been. Still having some back & rib pain, but it’s doing much better. I’ve started weight training again (TTSL by CVG, it’s essentially crossfit) and it’s kicking my ass, but I think it’s helped a lot!

The only exciting thing I have to report is that I got a chameleon!! I’ve been wanting one for years now, but have heard that they’re kind of hard to take care of. Plus, they don’t like to be held. Which is why I got a bearded dragon originally, which I don’t think I ever mentioned here – her name is Mango, and she’s almost a year old now.

I freaking LOVE her. She’s so awesome! Beardies have such big personalities. I can hold her and she’ll just chill on my shoulder, and I swear she has zero fear. She seems to like human interaction, and will even take food straight from my hands. Sadly, the chameleon runs away from me lol. His name is Kiwi, and he’s a Jackson’s chameleon, so he has three horns like a triceratops. He looks awesome and he’s super fun to watch! I wish he liked being held more, because his little feet are SO cool. They’re zygodactyl, which means he’s got two toes on each side of his foot. It feels so weird (but cool!) when he grabs onto your fingers!


March was also mostly uneventful, but I did FINALLY upgrade my phone!! I had the iPhone 12 mini, and I loved how small it was (I have tiny little girl hands guys), but the battery and camera suuucked because of the phone being small. I gave up the small size for a nicer phone and I have zero regrets! I go the iPhone 14 Pro and it is EPIC. The camera quality is insane! It has depth of field and the quality is almost as good as my DSLR is. I’ve been obsessed with taking grooming photos XD

Current obsessions

Movies: The only new movie we’ve seen since my last Heartbeat Monthly was Quantumania, and it was just okay. I’ve been kinda disappointed in the last few Marvel releases. Since Endgame, actually.

TV: Westworld! I borrowed the first 3 seasons from the library (HBO apparently took it off, wtf?!) Anyway, we binged the first season and are a few episodes into the second. I had seen the first season before, but I forgot how awesome it was! I also enjoyed watching again and looking for hints for the major twists! (It was so awesome to see my hubby’s reaction. His mind was blown, too!)

Music: I’ve been on a nostalgia kick lately and have been listening to some of my old favorite albums! I made a playlist on Spotify to track them – I added only my fave song from each album so I could go to the album and listen to it, but I’m contemplating adding the whole album so I can just listen to them at random if I want to.

Food: I tried Donatos for the first time in my life and I’m in love! Their pizza is fantastic and I’m obsessed with their party sticks.

I also have a new favorite dessert, healthy cheesecake! I crush 2 sheets of graham crackers and mix with 1 tbsp of low fat butter, a little vanilla extract, and a teaspoon or so of Swerve brown sugar and that’s the crust. I chill it while I make the cheesecake portion, which is 1/2 cup(ish) of greek yogurt (I use Two Good vanilla), a tbsp sugar free cheesecake jello pudding mix, and a little vanilla extract. That’s the basic recipe. Sometimes I like to add blueberries or strawberries, or mix a little chocolate hummus in with the yogurt. Last week I did turtle cheesecake – with the chocolate hummus mixed in and topped it with a drizzle of SF caramel topping and some chopped peanuts! Yummmm.

Games: I surprisingly haven’t played any games lately. I’ve not touched the Xbox or Switch in the last couple of months, and I haven’t been in the mood for phone games. If I’m on my phone I’m usually wasting time on social media, oops.


April TBR

  • Find Him Where You Left Him Dead by Kristen Simmons (eARC)
  • Isles of the Gods by Amie Kaufman (eARC)
  • To Each This World by Julie E. Czerneda (audio)
  • Unearthed by Amie Kaufman (audio)
  • A Magic Steeped in Poison Judy I. Lin (audio)


See anything you like? What did YOU get last month? Link me up!

Jessi (Geo)

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