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Friday, October 31, 2014

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway October 31, 2014

[** If you are new to Friday Pick Giveaway - Welcome!  Scroll down a bit (below book group #19) for instructions on how to enter.]

We have had a nice quiet week in Maryland and we are enjoying our visiting with our son, d-i-l and granddaughter. I have been busy the last couple of days on the computer doing work that was a little unexpected. I have mixed feelings about driving home next week. :-)

[UPDATED NOTE - US entrants I prefer, please, that you pick a book as that is the first purpose of this giveaway - to find new homes for books. The GCs are for the international entrants because postage has jumped up.]

Thank you to all who entered the October 24 Pick. There was one automatic wins again this week.  (Automatic winners are those who requested the book four times and I did not note other people asking for that book during those weeks.) There was one title blocked.
Anita gets Out of Darkness 

to picked Winners from October 24 Pick:
Elizabeth gets a GC
Mary P gets a GC 

All winners please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me to confirm your win, send your snail mail address information and let me know if you would like bookmarks - sensual, sexy or sweet bookmarks. {The form is new because Google changed their forms and the old one wasn't letting me print out the responses.}
Don't you love to have a book handy? 
Ha Ha - couldn't resist with this creepy picture.
Happy Halloween to those who celebrate.
Image found at Literary Duck Blog.

New Book Group #52 October 10, 2014
(Links to be added.)

Richard Paul Evans, The Looking Glass and The Carousel
Mary Higgins Clark, A Cry In the Night and You Belong to Me
Duo Book: Yesterday's Memories by Tara Taylor Quinn and Amanda Stevens
Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg
Destiny's Daughter by Rebecca Brandewyne
At The Stroke of Madness by Alex Kava
She's Got the Look by Leslie Kelly
Reliquary by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle
Behind a Mask by May Alcott
Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman

New Book Group #51 September 12, 2014
10/10 - I just realized I never posted the image for this group.

Elysa Hendricks, Star Crash (personally autographed copy) and The Sword and the Pen
Anne Stuart, Hidden Honor and The Devil’s Waltz
Intrepid Encounter by Rebecca Ashley
The Reckoning by Jeanette Baker
Taylor's Temptation by Suzanne Brockmann
A Painted House A Novel by John Grisham 
Scandalous Virtue Mass by Brenda Hiatt 
Viking Heat by Sandra Hill 
Darkness, Take My Hand (Kenzie and Gennaro Book 2) by Dennis Lehane
Missing Susan by Sharyn Mccrumb
Pandora's Clock by John J. Nance - AUDIO CASSETTES
A Stranger's Wife by Maggie Osborne
The Short Forever (Stone Barrington Novels Book 8) by Stuart Woods - AUDIO CASSETTES

New Book Group #50! August 8, 2014
William J. Coughlin: The Court and The Judgment
Phyllis J. Whitney: The Ebony Swan and Woman Without a Past
Maybe This Time by Victoria Barrett
The Commander by Kate Bridges
So Hard to Forget by Evelyn Crowe
The Cinderella Plan by Margaret Daley
Whirlwind Affair by Jacquie D'Allessandro
Let Darkness Come by Angela Hunt
Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione 
ChiefTain by Nan Ryan
A Place Called Home by Lori Wick
The Mr. & Mrs. Happy Handbook by Steve Doocy
True Believer by Nicholas Sparks
A Garden of Friends by Penny Pierce Rose

New Book Group #49 June 27, 2014

Sandra Brown:  The Thrill of Victory and Temperatures Rising
Beverly Barton: The Last to Die and Raintree: Sanctuary
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
Down by the Water by Caroline Upcher
Hawkes Harbor by S.E. Hinton
Savage Thunder by Cassie Edwards
Miracle by Deborah Smith
Desperate Alliances by Cory Daniells
Never Walk Alone by Paula Detmer Riggs
The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin
Running Blind by Lee Child

New Book Group #48 May 30, 2014

Dangerous by Debra Dier
First to Fight Anthology

New Book Group #47 April 25, 2014

Trey's Secret by Lois Faye Dayer
Once Upon a Honeymoon by Julie Kistler
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty by Vickie Kennedy

New Book Group #46 March 15, 2014
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain
The Last Heiress by Bertrice Small (spine creases)

New Book Group #45 January 31, 2014---(All gone)
Out of Darkness by Lynn Erickson

New Book Group #44 December 14, 2013---(All gone)
New Book Group #43 November 1, 2013 ---(All gone)
New Book Group #42 September 27, 2013 ---(All gone)

New Book Group #41 August 2, 2013
Cattle Rancher, Secret Son by Margaret Way

New Book Group #40 June 28, 2013
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)

New Book Group #39 May 31, 2013 - Plenty of "summer" titles!
Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford

New Book Group #38 April 20, 2013
Awaken the Senses by Nalini Singh

New Book Group #37 March 22, 2013
Anthology: Something Borrowed, Something Blue - this book has spine creases and minor water damage...I thought I had read it and liked it but now I realize it was another anthology I read with Elaine Barbier.

New Book Group #36 February 15, 2013
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe

New Book Group #35 January 11, 2013 (All gone)
New Book Group #34 December 7, 2012--- (All gone)
New Book Group #33 October 27, 2012---(All gone)

New Book Group #32 October 5, 2012
NOTE This book has dog bite damage; it is missing half back cover and the edges of pages in the back third of the book... it does not effect the text but I will understand if no one wants this one - A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley

New Book Group #31 August 31, 2012
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)

New Book Group #30 July 27, 2012
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
Dancing on Snowflakes by Jane Bonander

New Book Group #29 June 29, 2012
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology

New Book Group #28 May 18, 2012--- (All gone)
New book Group #27 April 13, 2012--- (All gone)
New book Group #26 March 2, 2012--- (All gone)
New Group #25 January 12, 2012---(All gone)
New Group #24 Pick Books November 25, 2011---(All gone)

New Group #23 Pick Books October 14, 2011
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser

New Group #22 Pick Books September 2, 2011---(All gone)
New Group #21 of Pick Books July 29, 2011---(All gone)
May, 2011 New Group of Pick books Group #20---(All gone)
3/25/11 Group #19---(All gone)
2/19/11 Book Group #18- Pairs!---(All gone).

I have finally updated the intro and Entry paragraphs here:

If you saw the pictures posted of my bookshelves and boxes you know I do have lots of books! And that doesn't include the other eight or so boxes at my office!! And more books as I find deals too good to pass up! I am sharing my book bounty by these Friday Pick Giveaways.

I started Friday Pick on November 27, 2009 and in four years I have posted 43 groups of 16 (688) books to find new homes! (as of November 2013).

I periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want! I am happy to say that so far about 724+ books have found new homes! YAY. I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed.

Note rules here regarding international entries.
Because postage to overseas can be prohibitive I am willing to give a $5.00 book certificate to international winners - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, ARe, TWRP, ClassAct Books, eTreasures, Desert Breeze, tell me where and I'll set it up. So for my overseas visitors your comment may indicate a smaller book and I'll check postage or note your choice of gift card.

I learned that The Book Depository does not ship to everywhere. The postage for some of the books to far away places runs between $5.00 $7.00 and $6.00 $10.00 and up. Since I would award $5.00 for The Book Depository to an international winner, as an alternative you may choose a smaller book and we will hope the postage will not exceed $6.00. If the postage is more, or if you want to pick a larger book and you are willing to pay any extra postage beyond the $6.00 I will work with you on that. This may not make a difference to many but if it helps one or two of you to give one of my books a home that will make me happy too. :o)

Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists.
CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 10:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up past midnight to do the winner post!
I will randomly pick two winners to announce Friday mornings with the next Pick post.
Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times and I did not note other people asking for that book during those weeks.
WINNERS PLEASE CHECK THE WIN POST ON FRIDAYS AND fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me at [I will confirm receipt of the addresses- well I realize I haven't always done this. But if you filled out the form and don't get the book within two weeks nudge me with an email please!] If I have the winners e-mail I will send a reminder in a week or so....

Thanks for helping these books find new homes!!

Repeating this helpful blog tip: You can right click on a link and you will be given the choice to open the link in a new window or tab so you do not navigate away from the screen you are on!! I use this all the time!

1/14/11 New List #17--- (All gone)

12/3/10 Book Set: #16
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown 

List #15---(All gone)
List #14---(All gone)
List #13 of Used books! ---(All gone)
Group #12---(All gone)

Group #11
Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester

List #1
Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo

Pick #2---(All gone)
Pick #3---(All gone)
Pick #4---(All gone)
Pick #5---(All gone)
Pick #6---(All gone)

Pick #7
Prey by Michael Crichton - Audio Tape

Pick #8
The Jury by Steve Martini - Audio Tapes

Pick #9
On Treacherous Ground by Earl Murray

Pick #10---(All Gone)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Book Review: The Kindness of Neighbors (A Short Story) by Matthew Iden

This is a short, gripping mystery with a punch at the end. Well done!
The Kindness of Neighbors (A Short Story)
by Matthew Iden

  • File Size: 1372 KB
  • Print Length: 50 pages
  • Publisher: StoryFront (April 9, 2014)
Genre: Mystery
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: April 9, 2014
No one likes Jack. His wife is gone and his neighbors avoid him. He's a recluse and a creep, and that's just the way he wants it; he can ignore what they say behind his back if they leave him to his work and his daily walks. But when ten-year-old Emma goes missing in the nearby woods, the eyes of his neighbors turn toward him, their fear and accusations escalating as the days go by. Jack proclaims his innocence, but what the neighbors--and the reader--find out is the last thing anyone would suspect.
Previously published as Finding Emma.

Jack lives alone and secluded as a single man in a family neighborhood. Even before his wife, Susan, left him they were not really part of the 'family with kids' group. Jack works at home on his computer as a freelance illustrator. This allows him time to run chores on his own schedule when he can avoid crowds and neighbors. He can also go out for solitary walks in the nearby wooded preserve.

Jack realizes that neighbors perceive him as a recluse and maybe even creepy. This perception really hits home when a small girl, Emma, goes missing. At first Jack reluctantly joins the search. He is a little annoyed by the resentment he feels when some families treat his dinner time knock as an intrusion. Then neighbors, and especially Emma’s parents, become suspicious of him when they find Emma’s bike and dark chalk drawings on the sidewalk near his house.

Jack tries to cooperate with the police questioning but he is tense and offended by their accusatory attitude. He becomes more estranged when his offer to help in the continued search is rejected as it is clear that he is becoming a suspect. Jack ends up having a fight with Emma’s rampaging and trespassing father but his actions afterward were puzzling to me as I thought “This could really look bad for him later. What is he thinking?”

Matthew Iden’s writing includes descriptions which I enjoy as being crisp and natural to the setting and circumstance. I was pulled into the eerie, creepy sensations and the awkward difficulty that Jack faced as a suspect trying to prove he wasn’t involved with Emma’s disappearance. It made me wonder how many of us know our neighbors and how we are perceived in our neighborhoods.  It made me grimace and smile at the same time when I hit the ending which has a surprise (think Edgar Allan Poe eerie) twist!

This is a fast, gripping and entertaining read. I recommend it to mystery lovers, and others, who enjoy a quick read, good writing and an ironic ending. This is the second story I have enjoyed by Mr. Iden and I will be glad to read more.

I received this title from the author for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review: Pumpkins in Paradise (Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mysteries Book 1) by Kathi Daley

This is an easy read, cozy mystery with a light romance element.
Pumpkins in Paradise 
(Tj Jensen Paradise Lake Mysteries Book 1)
by Kathi Daley
  • File Size: 2124 KB
  • Print Length: 293 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Genre: Cozy Mystery
My Rating: 3.75 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: January 17, 2014
Between volunteering for the annual pumpkin festival, and coaching her girls to the state soccer finals, high school teacher Tj Jensen finds her good friend Zachary Collins dead in his favorite chair. When the handsome new deputy closes the case without so much as a “why” or “how,” Tj turns her attention from chili cook-offs and pumpkin carving to complex puzzles, prophetic riddles, and a decades’ old secret she seemed destined to unravel.

Tj Jensen is pretty well settled into her home town of Paradise Lake, working as a high school teacher and coach. She occasionally dreams of finding the right man and, in spite of prior attachments and the hopes of some in town, she knows that she will not get back together with her old high school flame.

As a teen Tj took a dare to inspect the home of the town recluse, Zachary Collins. Over the past ten years or so they had developed a nice friendship even though Zachary never revealed the secrets of his past that led to his bad scars - burn scars on the outside and guilt and regret on the inside. When Tj discovers Zachary dead she also sees evidence that leads her to think that it was other than natural causes or suicide as the local Sheriff is willing to quickly rule. First, there were two glasses so it is clear that had been a visitor. Second, the prized bottle of Scotch is missing.

Tj finds a gift addressed to her and uncovers a puzzle box that is part of a puzzle and code game that she and Zachary would play. She must uncover the clue to one box to find the next clue. As she unravels her clues she thinks perhaps she didn’t know Zachary as well as she thought. Yet she persists, revealing more evidence that Zachary may have been making ‘end of life’ plans but not ones that included suicide.

Tj enlists the help of Dylan, the rugged and handsome new deputy in town. Dylan helps Tj put together the pieces of puzzle while she continues her usual, uncomplicated duties at school, helping at her family’s lodge and in her volunteer activities. One of these duties includes heading a newly formed school choir.

I did enjoy several of the other quirky characters who came to the lodge as strangers but ended up being friends and part of Zachary’s mystery. I also liked the puzzle and code aspect of the story. Some of the background activity is rather mundane and unnecessary to the story. I never was sure of the purpose or direction of the school choir she was roped into leading. Perhaps it is just a set up to other stories in the small town series.

The pumpkin portion of the title seems to be a draw to the time of year as it was not really a special part of the story. The romance is a sweet early friendship for the characters that has not yet moved into a relationship. The plot and characters are not gripping but it is an easy read and I would like to see how the relationship between Tj and Dylan develops in other stories. I recommend this to those who enjoy a light cozy mystery with a light, clean, romance element.

I won this book from the author’s facebook in September.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mailbox Monday October 27, 2014

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.
Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs.  This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday.
Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and Vicki of I'd Rather Be at the Beach.
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I received five review titles: four through NetGalley, one for an upcoming Book Tour, and one audio review book.
I didn't purchase any kindle titles this week but I listed the two Audible titles I realized I forgot to list at the end of September.

(Although I have gotten to a couple, I still have many author requests to consider and reply to.)

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles

I received this title through NetGalley at invitation of Forever Romance (Hachette/Grand Central Station) for blog tour and giveaway.
My review will post 10/30 or 11/3 - I am awaiting the assigned date.

Unleashed (Love to the Rescue)
by Rachel Lacey
 This is a sweet and fun sounding contemporary romance.

These titles I selected through NetGalley:

This title I requested because I love
Mary Balogh and enjoyed the last title in this series.

Only Enchanting, A Survivors' Club Novel
by Mary Balogh
 (Releases 10/28; Penquin Group)

These two I requested to read during Sci Fi Month in November:

by Sergei Lukyanenko
(Releases Dec 2; Open Road Integrated Media)
A science fiction thriller by the author of Night Watch, the hit novel that inspired two major motion pictures

by Kenneth G. Bennett
Booktrope Publishing; Pub Date May 20 2014
Mystery & Thrillers, Sci Fi & Fantasy

I also received one Audio book through Audiobook Jukebox.
This is another title I plan to listen to for Sci Fi November:

Ravenhill Court 
by David R. Beshears, Narrated by Karen Krause



I didn't purchase any Kindle titles this week.
However I noted I never listed my Audible titles selected with my subscription at the end of September:

The Witch with No Name: The Hollows, Book 13
Written by: Kim Harrison
Narrated by: Marguerite Gavin
The conclusion to a great series.

Written by: James Dashner
Narrated by: Mark Deakins


I downloaded another 50 free Kindle titles this week. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

It's Monday! What are You Reading? October 27, 2014

This meme starts at Book Journey!

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

We went through another three states and arrived safely in Maryland (eight states total in a week). We are relaxing and enjoying time with our son and his family. 

I enjoyed my reading last week although it was not a lot. I only finished two books but I did post three reviews and a giveaway. I also posted the usual memes. :-)

I did not get to visit during the week due to our traveling. I hope to get to do some visiting in the next few days.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle

The Castle Blues Quake
by Linda Covella
This is a fun story suitable for younger teens.
My review and a giveaway are linked above.
Click on book title for full description.

2. Audio/MP3

Unwritten: A Novel
Charles Martin (Author)
Kevin Stillwell (Narrator)
This is remarkably different and wonderful! I loved it.
I will post a review later this week.
Click on book title for full description.

eTreasures Publishing:
Two more ebooks still out for updating; to be released soon.

Currently reading:
1. eBook/Kindle

What a Lady Needs for Christmas (MacGregor Series)
by Grace Burrowes
I am just shy of 50% and 
I am really enjoying this.
Click on book title for full description.

2. eBook/Kindle

Unleashed (Love to the Rescue)
by Rachel Lacey
I received this from Forever Romance through NetGalley for tour participation. It sounded really cute.  I have started it and like the characters. This will post with a giveaway either 10/30 or 11/3.
What happens when you find the right one at the wrong time?
Cara Medlen has a serious case of animal attraction. And it's not because of all the foster dogs she's rescued. She's got it bad for her incredibly sexy neighbor. Her one rule: Don't get attached. It's served her well with the dogs she's given to good homes and the children she's nannied. Yet the temptation of Matt's sexy smile might just convince her that some rules are made to be broken.

Matt Dumont doesn't need his skills as a private investigator to detect disaster on the horizon. Cara is everything he thought he'd never find-gorgeous, funny, and caring. But there's no way he can start a relationship just as he's about to move to another state. Talk about bad timing. As their attraction sizzles too hot to deny, they'll have to make a decision: forget the consequences and let loose, or forget each other and let go...

I expect I will start an Audio this week but I haven't decided what.

I am caught up on my daily Bible reading.
I have disciplined myself each morning to read my Bible passage before I pick up print, Kindle or mp3. I am really enjoying the reading.

Line Edits:
We are still finalizing formatting for two educational, non-fiction ebook releases which we sent back for a bit more polishing. We are also working on releasing several additional novels in print -- also polishing.

I keep plugging away at the books carried forward and the added NetGalley titles as well as the publicist/Author requests. 
I am have three reviews to post this week.

October Scheduled -
Mid Oct: 
10/30 or 11/3: Unleashed (Love to the Rescue) by Rachel Lacey Review and Giveaway courtesy of Hachette, Forever Romance

NetGalley - To be read in October/November:
Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve, Illustrated by Sarah McIntyre
The Red Book of Primrose House by Marty Wingate  (for Nov)
What a Lady Needs for Christmas (MacGregor Series) by Grace Burrowes (Reading)

Nov 7: Hilltop Sunset: A Brynn Bancroft Mystery by Joyce Strand
Nov. 12: Peace & Goodwill a Christmas Novella (The Minstrel Series Book 4) by Lee Strauss
A Touch of Nerves by Dennis Hampton
The Founders' Plot by Frank Victoria
We Are the Destroyers by D.K. Lindler

From Story Bundle - I am enjoying the romance bundle and so glad I got these. There are Cyperpunk, Supernatural and Mystery Bundles available now - soooo tempting!
Huntress For Hire by Terry Spear
Peter's Christmas by M. L. Buchman
The Death of Davy Moss by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Still many more requests to consider and reply to.

AudioBook Jukebox
Ravenhill Court by David R. Beshears (For November Sci Fi Month)
I'll be looking for new titles to request this week.

Post Hypnotic Press
I have several more audiobooks from this publisher that I will be reviewing.

From TBR Collection - 10th Anniversary: The Women's Murder Club - Done
Won Book - TBD
Free Kindle/Nook or Smashwords - TBD for October


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