Posted in Thing 1 Rants

Thing 1 Introduces a (hopefully) Semi-regular New Segment: Thing 1’s Thoughts and Rants

Hello readers of Combing Through the Pages, it is I, Thing 1, the eldest of my mother’s children.

Wow. That was more dramatic than I thought it would be.

Anyway… I’m here to introduce a new segment of posts that I will be doing this summer that are just going to be me ranting about things that I feel strongly about or about some random thought that I recently had.

These posts will hopefully be posted on a semi-regular basis on Friday. I make no promises on that though cause I’m a procrastinator at heart and it’s hard to keep that in check when it’s summer. So apologies in advance if this segment ends up not happening that often, but I will try my best.

I do hope that you all will enjoy the rants and thoughts that I do end up posting about. And I hope that you’ll find them as entertaining as me and my mom do.

Posted in Giveaway

Summertime Giveaway!

This year has been filled with lots of exciting and unexpected events and opportunities, for which I’m super grateful! At the same time, it’s flying by at a speed I feel incapable of keeping up with.

And now, here we are, on the brink of summer and I haven’t managed to keep one single 2019 Blogging Goal:

I haven’t started reading through the Harvard Classics.

I haven’t managed to consistently blog once a week, let alone four days a week!

And I haven’t run a single giveaway… UNTIL NOW! I’m finally starting to catch up and my first order of business is a summertime giveaway!

I’ll be giving away one book of the winner’s choice (up to $30) from Book Depository*. The winner will be chosen and announced on Friday, June 21 and you have until June 15 to enter! Entry form is below.

Quick note: This is my first time doing a giveaway and using Rafflecopter, so please excuse any hiccups in the process, and feel free to give feedback and suggestions for future giveaways! Thanks and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Book Depository must deliver to your location in order to win. Winner will be contacted via e-mail and announced on Combing Through the Pages and Twitter.

Posted in Adventures in Audiobooks

Adventures in Audiobooks

Well guys and gals, I’m finally ready to announce what the heck has been taking up so much of my time and keeping me from all you lovely people (and totally screwing up my original 2019 blogging goals).

I’ve been incredibly blessed since I started book blogging at the end of last summer. I’ve met some amazing bloggers, authors, editors, etc. It sometimes feels as if my bookish dreams are being granted by a fairy godmother…

Bookish Dream #1 – Free Books to Share the Book Love

My love for books has always exceeded my bank account.

Before discovering the amazing world of book blogging, I had no idea what an ARC (“Advanced Review Copy”) was, let alone how to get my hands on one.

I did love sharing my thoughts on everything I read though. Nothing makes me happier than helping someone discover their next great read… except maybe keeping them from picking up the next horrible one!

Enter Twitter and it’s amazing bookish community! I posted a review of a book last year and shared the post to Twitter. I had no idea how that one post would change me and this blog…

After that post went live, I started getting followed on Twitter by some book bloggers. From checking out their sites and reviews, I learned SO MUCH! I discovered NetGalley, started getting approached by authors looking for reviewers, and my TBR pile grew taller than my 5 feet 4.5 inches without me spending a single dime. But the best part…

I got to share my love of the books I was reading with other people who actually cared what I had to say!!!

Before book blogging, I pretty much shared my love of books with anyone who would listen (whether they wanted to hear it or not). Now, I have actual bookish people to talk to and share my passion with.

Bookish Dream #2 – Getting Paid to Read to People

As a book lover, I’ve always secretly dreamed of getting hired to do nothing but read to people.

I didn’t even care who the people were… kids, adults, iguanas?? Who cares as long as their listening to the story!

And after a lot of second thoughts, training, construction, and even some tears, I finally feel comfortable sharing with you all that this dream is coming true!!! I’ve embarked on a new adventure and I am now an audiobook narrator!!!

By the end of this summer, you’ll be able to find at least 6 books on Amazon, Audible and iTunes narrated by yours truly!! So far, genres I’ve been involved in are suspense, short stories, science fiction & fantasy, and Christian non-fiction. I’ll be sharing titles as they come available and I can’t wait to hear what you all think!

(To that end, if you’re a book blogger who reviews audiobooks and would like the opportunity to receive review copies, please send me a message through the Contact Me page or an e-mail to reviewrequest@jesscombs.com and I’ll add you to my list of potential reviewers and let you know when promo copies are available. And if you’re a rights holder interested in having your book(s) narrated and produced, please message me through the Contact Me page or e-mail to jessica@jesscombs.com.)

I really cannot put into words how incredibly excited and happy I am for this new adventure! But not only that, I’m so thrilled that I’ve met so many people online who I know are going to be just as excited as I am for me and I thank you all for your support and encouragement. The book blogging community is so awesome and I’m proud to be a small part of it!

Thanks for sharing in this dream with me!

Posted in blogging

No, I’m not dead…

Hello everyone!

I know, I disappeared after my steroid injection post, but they didn’t kill me or anything! (I’m actually going to get the second one today. Yikes!)

I am sorry for the radio silence over the last few weeks, we’ve just had a lot going on! Some was just personal stuff, but on top of that we started getting the house ready for a sibling group we thought we were going to get from foster care, but that fell through, and now we have a completely different placement…

So a lot of transitioning going on in my home! Which means a lot of randomness and sporadic posting here.

I do hope to at least get caught up on reviews and my other planned posts over the next couple weeks and then hopefully get back to normal and fully open up to review requests again soon!

In the meantime, I just wanted to pop in quickly to say hi! I’ve missed all my blogging world peeps! Hope all is well with you!!

Posted in book reviews

DNF ARC – Root Cause by Steven Laine

DNF ARC – Root Cause by Steven LaineRoot Cause by Steven Laine
Published by Turner Publishing ISBN: 1684422590
Source: Turner Publishing
Goodreads

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Synopsis

Can you imagine a world without wine?

Corvina Guerra is a flying winemaker who dreams of one day settling down in her native Italy on her family's vineyard. On a visit to a vineyard in Italy, Corvina makes a startling discovery: Phylloxera, a menacing plant louse that devastated vineyards in Europe more than a hundred years ago, has infested the vines.

After reporting her findings to her company, Universal Wines, Corvina is charged with investigating the spread of the bug. Nicknamed Philomena by the media, the aphid is soon discovered in vineyards around the world. To aid in her investigation, Corvina recruits a wine expert in London, Brian Lawless. In pursuit of its origins, Corvina and Brian embark on a thrilling globetrot on which they uncover that Philomena is a genetically modified strain of Phylloxera and is being intentionally spread.

The deeper Corvina and Brian search, the more they become convinced that Universal Wines holds the answer to everything, and the harder they pursue their investigation the more surprises pile up for both of them.

In spite of devastating consequences, Corvina and Brian vow to continue their investigation and do what they can to contain the spread of the infestation - but time is running short and they always seem to be a step behind. Unless they can find a way to stop the Philomena - vineyards around the world will be ruined for decades; potentially causing the collapse of the wine industry. Can Corvina and Brian get to the root cause and save the international wine industry from ruin?

I received this book for free from Turner Publishing. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Buy on Amazon

My Thoughts on Root Cause:

I want to be incredibly clear before I go on to talk about this book – I did not finish it. So my thoughts are only on the first 109 pages of the 358 pages that comprise Root Cause.

What made me want this book in the first place?

There are a few different ways book bloggers acquire the books we review. A lot of it is dependent on where we live in the world, and how accessible books are, in general. For me, the books I review normally come from requests I’ve received directly from authors and publicists and if a book sounds like something I’d definitely enjoy (and I’ve got the time), then I’ll accept it for review. On rare occasions, I’ll reach out to a publisher and request a book.

Root Cause was one of those rare times when I wanted to read the book so badly that I contacted the publisher directly to request a review copy.

I mean, read the summary! What’s not to love about this book? It’s a mystery\thriller where the world’s wine is at stake! I’ve always wanted to go to Italy (and you remember the box of wine story) so I felt like there was No Way I couldn’t connect with this book!

So What went wrong?

I actually enjoyed the main characters, Corvina and Brian. Corvina is smart and relatable in a lot of ways. Brian is funny and does a great job of balancing out Corvina’s seriousness.

But too much of the story itself just wasn’t believable enough for me and turned me off.

For one thing, the entire wine industry – not just local, but GLOBALLY – is in danger, but not a single person outside of Corvina and Brian are worried about it?? I mean, if you have a billion dollar industry and there’s even a chance that it could go bye-bye, you’re probably going to want to take steps to prevent that!

Also, the way that Corvina and Brian get teamed up together made me cringe. Corvina has never heard of Brian before, she’s just talking to her friend about needing help and her friend Googles “tall, dark, and handsome wine expert” and Brian’s name pops up. Corvina calls him, but he doesn’t answer. She leaves a message and he doesn’t call back, he sends her a text with a place (a bar??) and time to meet IN ANOTHER COUNTRY and she goes!

WHAT?!?!?!?!

Not only is it completely ridiculous that a woman would actually travel to another country to meet a man she’s never met before, knows nothing about, and has never even had a conversation withbut it was completely out of character! I couldn’t see Corvina actually going to meet this guy! The whole book gets started with her obsessive worry over something NO ONE else is worried about… does that seem like someone who doesn’t bat an eye at going to meet a stranger alone in a bar in another country???

There’s also a lot of wine jargon and description of every wine they drink, taste, see, etc. While questioning a vineyard owner, they ask maybe three questions about the bugs destroying the vineyards and there are about three pages describing the wines they are drinking with little about the actual problem central to the book.

So I guess the real reason I couldn’t finish Root Cause is that I just never bought into the story, which was super disappointing since I was SO excited to read it! It might appeal to people who love wine much more than I do, but I just couldn’t do it.

I’d love to hear what you think! Have you read Root Cause?

Have you been excited for a book and it disappointed you? What was the book? What about it turned you off?

Posted in Note to Self

Note to Self: You’re Not on Vacation Anymore!

Well, I’m back (sorta)!

We had an amazing time on our vacation. But I think my brain may still be there!

I cannot seem to get back into the swing of things now that I’m back home… I don’t feel like cleaning, writing, cooking, or really doing anything that requires effort at all. Even carrying on coherent, meaningful conversations is just too much! Why can’t I just Cyndi Lauper my life away?

I’m aware that my refusal to be a productive member of society again probably means the cruise we took spoiled me just a little too much!

For now, I’m okay with it. I’m usually so stressed about everything that’s it’s nice to have a more laid back attitude… At least until I starve as I chill in my dusty home reading books and talking to people on the internet. (Can someone remind me to eat occasionally?)

Seriously, am I the only person who struggles to get back into the normal flow of life after vacation? What do you do to get motivated again?