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GIVEAWAYS ARE NOW LOCATED ON THEIR OWN PAGE - CLICK ON TAB ABOVE; Giveaways also linked on right sidebar.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sharing Beyond Books #169 Comment Giveaway September 20, 2014

Hello again on Saturday night and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!
And -- another week bites the dust! I had a nice half day with the grandkids and friends. They came over to help "pick up sticks" from the yard and we helped P-Pop clean the garage too. It was very productive.

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.
We are pretty much split on the amount of time we spend on the computer. Nine of us spend about 8 to 10 hours a day while seven spend 2 to 4 hours on the computer each day. A couple of you share the computer with other family members so that impacts the amount of time they spend.
~~~~

The Winner from SBB #168 comments is: #7 Nicole who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the ARC/Review titles, Christmas titles or Love titles - all linked near the end of the post.  Please let me know your choice by completing the (new) WINNER FORM.

WEEK #169 (One Question.)

Q1. Jess1 asks: Is there a food that you were always indifferent to for many years, but later ended up liking a lot??
A: As I child I never liked cottage cheese, in fact it made me gag. But now I like it, particularly with fruit. 
Image found at PopSugar.

Thanks to those who are sending in Questions. DON'T BE SHY! Surely everyone has a Q or two you'd like to ask. Input suggestions in this Suggested Question Form. At the end of each month I draw from the suggestions I used during the month and that person will get a book choice or GC. I thank everyone for submitting questions. Thanks for sending in questions! We still have a supply of questions but from the same people so hopefully others will send more in -- even if they are duplicates I'll weed through or try to modify to use.

Your turn to share:

Q1. Jess1 asks: Is there a food that you were always indifferent to for many years, but later ended up liking a lot??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the Valentine and "Love" books, the Christmas Giveaway Books (this is the new link), or the June 2013 Newly Updated ARC/Review List.

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on either of the two questions above.
Open internationally and an international winner may get a smaller book or a $5.00 GC if I decide the mailing is too much.

I will pick a Comment winner from all comments made through Saturday September 27, 2014 at 5 PM  central.

Book Review: The Night Visitor by Dianne Emley

This is a strong mystery with good twists.
The Night Visitor
by Dianne Emley


  • File Size: 1340 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Alibi (September 16, 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • ASIN: B00IWTTPMK
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal Thriller
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
In bestselling author Dianne Emley’s chilling new paranormal thriller, a beautiful woman’s romantic past comes back to haunt her in the form of an otherworldly visitor seeking justice.
Gorgeous and successful, Rory Langtry seemed to have it all. Daughter of a movie star and sister of a supermodel, Rory was engaged to sexy artist, Junior Lara. But her bright future went dark one terrible, bloody night that left her sister dead and the accused murderer—Junior—in an extended coma.
Now, five years later, Rory appears to have put the past behind her. She has a wonderful new fiancé and heads a successful cosmetics company. Yet dark secrets threaten. Across town, Junior lies close to death but before he departs he seeks to clear his name.
It starts with a feeling. It turns into a vision. Soon Rory is having sensations that only Junior could experience—from the horrifying to the erotic. Then she learns details about the awful night that only Junior could know, newfound knowledge with potentially fatal consequences. When another act of violence rocks her family, Rory plunges deeper into the unsolved mystery, led by an inexplicable visitor to a dangerous time and place where all will be revealed at last. But until then, Junior will not let her go.


Review:
Junior was an extraordinary artist and was happily looking forward to his life with his beautiful fiance, Rory. Rory is a beauty in her own right but she feels overshadowed by her movie star mother and supermodel sister, Anya. Junior did a gorgeous painting of Rory and Anya insisted that he paint her too. Junior was reluctant but Rory encouraged him to do it for the exorbitant fee Anya agreed to pay. But the night the painting was finished Anya and Junior are found lying in a pool of blood. Anya is dead, her painting is slashed, another unknown painting is missing, and Junior is severely injured.

Junior spends the next five years diminishing in a coma. His brother, Daniel, develops a strange affinity as he cares for Junior. Junior’s family is bitter and angry not only at Junior’s suffering but because Junior was accused of murdering Anya before attempting suicide.

Rory is devastated by the death of her sister and the rumors that swell around the alleged murder/suicide tragedy. She begins a foundation to help “the other victims,” TOV. Rory is engaged to a new love and preparing for a special foundation fund-raising. But Rory experiences some strange dizziness and visions.

The primary detective thought there were holes in the conclusion that Junior was the killer but the victim’s wealthy family put pressure on closing the case quickly. When Daniel tries to assassinate Rory during her speech the murder investigation is brought alive again and the detective begins to uncover some very strange events.

This story drives a strong punch. It is upfront and crass in some ways. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the characters and I didn’t like some of the ugly language. However, as the story progressed, I became more engrossed in the mystery, the eeriness and the twists. Bit by bit the author reveals details and family secrets through emotional memories. I actually had another culprit in mind for most of the book so I enjoyed the surprise when the facts were disclosed. Ms. Emley does a great job combining the mystery and paranormal elements in this taunt thriller. I recommend this to readers who don’t mind a bit of paranormal in a strong mystery with good twists.

I received this thriller through NetGalley.

Audio Book Review: Dead Case in Deadwood: Deadwood Mystery, Book 3 by Ann Charles

An engaging, fun listening experience (but be prepared for some use of foul language).
Written by: Ann Charles
Narrated by: Caroline Shaffer
Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
Series: Deadwood Mysteries, Book 3
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:06-17-14
Publisher: Made for Succes
Genre: Mystery, Humor, Paranormal
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0


Click on book title for full description.
Publisher's Summary
"Nothing good ever happens at the butt-crack of dawn. No doubt, the headless corpse on the autopsy table in front of me would agree." – Violet Parker
Real estate agent Violet "Spooky" Parker stumbles upon a body-part theft ring at the local funeral parlor and suspects her caustic coworker has a hand in it - or maybe a foot. Can Violet discover what's in the crates that the crooks are sneaking out of the mortuary in the dark of night? Or will she end up in one of them herself - in pieces?
©2012 Ann Charles (P)2014 Made for Success


Review:
Violet Parker is a single mother working as a real estate agent where she is in competition with her sarcastic nemesis, Ray. Ray is sure that he will out perform “Blondie” to get her out of the office. Meanwhile Violet is sure that Ray and his friend, George, have some nefarious business going on over at the funeral home that George owns.

Violet has a history of stumbling into trouble that includes strange, as well as dangerous, circumstances The local police detective and fire chief are very familiar with finding her where she doesn’t belong. In this episode Violet has located a headless body on the ranch of one her customers which is delaying her sales efforts. While the police are investigating that grim situation she takes on another client who is new in town but asked specifically for her.

Cornelius is a strange, Lincoln-look alike, who wants to buy an old hotel. He is interested in the property because he is a “ghost whisperer’ who loves to restore haunted buildings! Violet doesn’t believe in ghosts and doesn’t want her associates, especially Ray, to realize how crazy Cornelius is. She agrees to visit the hotel with Cornelius so he can test the authenticity of the ghostly claims. She brings along her secret love interest, Doc, who not only believes in ghosts but can see and speak with them. Cornelius and Doc begin to think that Violet is some type of ghost conduit drawing in the spirits to the high-tech seance. Unfortunately one of the spirits she brings out is a demon-like version of the murderer she was involved with from a prior book.

There is a lot of humor in the bumbling investigations that Violet makes at the funeral parlor, dragging along her best friend and/or dirty “Old Man” Harvey, her client and Detective Cooper’s uncle. There is also a lot of sass in the characters and dialogue even if the writing includes quite a bit of cliches. The old and odd phrases have a very down home twist and tone that make them fun. I enjoyed the quirky characters and the twisted mysteries although only one mystery was solved while other investigations were left hanging. I was disturbed by the amount of unnecessary swear language which were a distraction for me.

I have a feeling this would be better if the stories are read in proper sequence. Too bad I realized only after I finished that I already own books one and two on Kindle. I was thinking I might not continue the series because the language hurts my soul – it makes me cringe. However I may go backwards and try book one sometime in the future to see if I can bypass the poor language easier in reading than in listening form.

Audio Notes: Caroline Shaffer does a very effective job with the narration. She captures the snarky humor and quirkiness of the characters. The narration made the story flow quickly and I recommend the book in audio for those who enjoy an engaging, fun listening experience.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Opening lines:
Nothing good ever happens at the butt-crack of dawn.
No doubt, the headless corpse on the autopsy table in front of me would agree.
I received this title from the Publisher through AudioBook Jukebox for an honest review.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway September 19, 2014

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

This evening seems more relaxed for me. Work has been good although I have tons to do tomorrow and probably on Saturday too. I am looking forward to FALL and a bit cooler weather. How about you?

[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 September 12 Pick. There was one automatic win 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 were no titles blocked.
Rita gets the Sandra Brown Pair

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from September 12 Pick:
Carol NW gets The Short Forever Cassettes
Elizabeth 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.}
I hope you start fall off with a good book!
Image found at Redheaded Bookworm
Help Redheaded Bookworm celebrate her big 30 Birthday
and check out her book cakes and the Prizes she has helping her celebrate!

New Book Group #51! September 12, 2014
(No picture yet but here is the list)
PAIRS:
Elysa Hendricks, Star Crash (personally autographed copy) and The Sword and the Pen
Anne Stuart, Hidden Honor and The Devil’s Waltz
SINGLES:
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
PAIRS:
William J. Coughlin: The Court and The Judgment
Phyllis J. Whitney: The Ebony Swan and Woman Without a Past
SINGLES:
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

PAIRS:
Sandra Brown:  The Thrill of Victory and Temperatures Rising
Beverly Barton: The Last to Die and Raintree: Sanctuary
SINGLES:
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

PAIRS:
Karen Haper:  Black Orchid (spine creases) and Shaker Run
Elizabeth Lowell: Fever and The Color of Death
SINGLES:
After Dark by Phillip Margolin Audio Tapes
Dangerous by Debra Dier
First to Fight Anthology

New Book Group #47 April 25, 2014

SINGLES:
Trey's Secret by Lois Faye Dayer
Midnight Reign by Chris Marie Green
Once Upon a Moon by Julie Kistler
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty byVickie Kennedy



New Book Group #46 March 15, 2014

SINGLES:
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain
Penhollow by Georgette Heyer
The Last Heiress by Bertrice Small (spine creases)
Strong Arms of the Law by Vicki Kennedy


New Book Group #45 January 31, 2014

SINGLES:
Out of Darkness by Lynn Erickson
Lord Braybrook's Penniless Bride by Elizabeth Rolls
Contract Dad by Helen Shelton
Hearts Are Wild by Laura Wright

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
Singles:
Cattle Rancher, Secret Son by Margaret Way

New Book Group #40 June 28, 2013
Singles:
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!
Singles:
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
Singles:
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
- Oops upside down book! 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)
Wild Escapade by Lisa Bingham
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)
Primary Colors - audio tapes

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 706+ 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, etc....you 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)

TO ENTER:
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 mesreads@gmail.com. [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)

Here is set #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
No Safe Place by Richard North Patterson - Audio Tapes

Pick #9
On Treacherous Ground by Earl Murray

Pick #10---(All Gone)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review: Neverhome by Laird Hunt

This is a beautifully written, haunting novel.
Neverhome
by Laird Hunt 

  • File Size: 836 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316370134
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (September 9, 2014)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • ASIN: B00HQ2N0D4
Genre: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


She calls herself Ash, but that's not her real name. She is a farmer's faithful wife, but she has left her husband to don the uniform of a Union soldier in the Civil War. NEVERHOME tells the harrowing story of Ash Thompson during the battle for the South. Through bloodshed and hysteria and heartbreak, she becomes a hero, a folk legend, a madwoman and a traitor to the American cause. Laird Hunt's dazzling new novel throws a light on the adventurous women who chose to fight instead of stay behind. It is also a mystery story: why did Ash leave and her husband stay? Why can she not return? What will she have to go through to make it back home? In gorgeous prose, Hunt's rebellious young heroine fights her way through history, and back home to her husband, and finally into our hearts.


Review:
Ash is strong and Bartholomew is not. So Ash leaves the farm behind in Indiana to become a Union soldier. Ash joins other travelers along the roads until they reach a recruiting center and join a regiment. The new recruits receive some training during which it is discovered that Ash is quite a sharpshooter. What isn’t discovered until over a year or more of gruesome battles is that Ash is a woman.

During one march through a small town Ash scrambles up a tree to give ‘his’ jacket to a young woman whose top was torn by a tree branch. Thus Ash earns the name, and a song ballad, of “Gallant Ash”. Ash has other moments of remarkable bravery that save others and secure the nickname. But there are also complaints to the Colonel that Ash has stolen food. She denies this and accepts that the Colonel will not advance her in rank but, of course, Ash doesn’t want any extra attention.

Ash pushes through many dreadful battles but is finally injured. She awakens on the field to find herself pinned under a tree. There is a wounded, old soldier nearby who responds to her calls, helping her until she crawls out. The remnants of her unit have already gone and she sets off to find them. She trudges on with the deep wound in her side, facing moments of delirium.

Eventually Ash stumbles to a war hospital but realizes that her secrets will be exposed if she stays in line. She follows a nurse home where she is nursed back to health and becomes a woman again. But Ash is betrayed and finds herself dragged off to an insane asylum. They laugh at her tales of the war and treat her cruelly like all the inmates.

Ash finally escapes and travels a round about way home. When she comes back to her town she learns that her childhood nemesis has taken over the farm, bullying Bartholomew. She returns to her war persona to deal with the vermin at her home.

I found the story itself remarkable but even more wonderful was the writing. The prose drew me into the time and setting. War is an ugly thing yet the writing delivered the images in an eerily, frank but almost gentle tone. There is violence, confusion, love, betrayal, delusion and a bit of mystery. The story was not quite what I expected – it was much more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A sense of the bleak reality of the war:
Death was the underclothing we all wore. Location 394.
I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley.

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