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Sunday, April 26, 2015

It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday April 27, 2015

This meme starts at Book Journey! My prayers continue for Sheila's family.

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.

I had a good week at work - busy but not stressful. Thursday symptoms of a cold hit and I have spent the weekend doing small projects around the house so I can take naps when my head becomes too groggy. Hopefully I will be much better in the morning to start the week.    

I enjoyed my reading which has moved along well. I finished three eBooks and am well into another. I only finished one audio and have downloaded several trying to decide on the next listen. I posted three reviews (one with a giveaway) so I am still up to date. I also posted the usual memes. :-)

I am glad again that I visited blogs early in the week as I had two nights later of almost no internet.
Thanks as always to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • Book Review: The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig; Fantasy, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic; my rating 4.0.
Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle

The Fire Sermon
by Francesca Haig
I enjoyed this dystopian.
The review is linked above.
Click on book title for full description.

2. eBook/Kindle

Fringe Benefits (The Ladies Who Lunch)
by Sandy James
This is a small town romance that I had some issues with but might please other readers.
My review with giveaway is linked above.
Click on book title for full description.

3. Audible

Trident's First Gleaming:
A Special Operations Group Thriller
Written by: Stephen Templin

Narrated by: Brian Troxell
There is lots of action in this story which
I received through AudioBook Jukebox.

I will post a review this week.
Click on book title for full description.

4. eBook/Kindle

Sinfully Yours (The Hellions of High Street)
by Cara Elliott
This is another delightful romp. I hope to get book 3!
Book Review and Giveaway will post 4/28.
Click on book title for full description.

Currently reading:
1. Audible

The Snow Queen
Written by: Hans Christian Andersen
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
I am listening to this quick Audible while I decide on the next. This was from my Audible library.
Publisher's Summary
Audible's 2014 Narrator of the Year Julia Whelan performs one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved fairy tales, The Snow Queen. This classic tale is a fantastical fable of two dear friends - one of whom goes astray and is literally lost to the north woods, while the other undertakes an epic journey to rescue him. This charming, strange, and wonderful story is a timeless allegory about growing up and the challenges of staying true to one's self, and it served as the wintry inspiration for the blockbuster hit Frozen.
Public Domain (P)2014 Audible Inc.

2. eBook/Kindle

The Brass Giant: A Chroniker City Story
by Brooke Johnson
I am 40% into this and enjoying the characters and story. I anticipate the coming conflict. 
I received this through Edelweiss for Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour - to post 4/30.
Book Description
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Sometimes, even the most unlikely person can change the world

Seventeen-year-old Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, wants nothing more than to become a certified member of the Guild, an impossible dream for a lowly shop girl. Still, she refuses to give up, tinkering with any machine she can get her hands on, in between working and babysitting her foster siblings.

When Emmerich Goss--handsome, privileged, and newly recruited into the Guild--needs help designing a new clockwork system for a top-secret automaton, it seems Petra has finally found the opportunity she's been waiting for. But if her involvement on the project is discovered, Emmerich will be marked for treason, and a far more dire fate would await Petra.

Working together in secret, they build the clockwork giant, but as the deadline for its completion nears, Petra discovers a sinister conspiracy from within the Guild council ... and their automaton is just the beginning.

3. eBook/Kindle

Cassidy (Big Sky Dreams Book 1)
by Lori Wick
This is our Ladies Book Club read for May 2.
Book Description
Publication Date: July 1, 2007
Following the success of her recent stand–alone novel, White Chocolate Moments, bestselling author Lori Wick returns to delight readers with a new series set in the vast open places of Montana.

Token Creek, Montana Territory, 1880—Cassidy Norton is a fine seamstress who makes her living sewing for others. Amid the bustle of a busy frontier town, her life is rich. What time her business doesn’t take, her friends and church family fill. But Cassidy hasn’t always lived in Token Creek, and few people know her full story. So she struggles with a nagging unsettledness in her heart.

Cassidy’s friend Meg is married to a rancher and has a baby, something Cassidy wants for herself. But that would mean revealing the details of her life. Will Cassidy find the strength to take that risk?

Book 1 in the Big Sky Dreams series.

4. Audible/MP4
I have downloaded five books because I can't decide which I want to listen to. Maybe I will add it later or just list it next week. :-)

I am reading The One Year Bible again along with my husband and others from our church. I am also listening to the companion commentary online. -- Really enjoying my Bible reading. It seems my eyes are open to more details and meaning. To go a step beyond the Bible reading I am also reading Jesus Daily 365 Interactive Devotions.

April Scheduled -
4/28/15 Sinfully Yours (The Hellions of High Street) by Cara Elliott - Blog Tour Blitz
4/30/15 The Brass Giant: A Chroniker City Story by Brooke Johnson - Blog Tour

I posted three reviews last week so I am still up to date. :-)
I will be reading NetGalley titles again as soon as this rash of tour books are done. I do want to get back to TBR titles too.

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 only have one new book for this week. .
Surprise! Not. I downloaded more free kindle titles to my library.
(Although I have gotten to a couple, I still have many author requests, old and new ones, to consider and reply to.)
Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles
I picked up this title for Ladies Book Club to read for 5/2:

Cassidy (Big Sky Dreams Book 1)
by Lori Wick
Cassidy’s friend Meg is married to a rancher and has a baby, something Cassidy wants for herself. But that would mean revealing the details of her life. Will Cassidy find the strength to take that risk?


I didn't make any purchases this week. :-)


Over the past week I added 54 free Kindle titles to my library. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Words of Encouragement April 26, 2015

I missed service this morning as I didn’t feel up to it and didn’t want to expose anyone else to my cold. I ended up sleeping in until 10:30 which is helping me feel better. I think I’ll be getting another nap soon and going to bed early.

A week or so ago I attended a board meeting and the chaplain shared a wonderful devotional. She noted that we are all getting older, day by day, but are we growing older? We don’t get much choice about getting older. We will get older and our bodies will age and sag -- even with external help and even with a lot of physical workout. However, we do have a choice about growing older. We grow older by growing in knowledge, wisdom, mercy, and fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Add gratitude for all our blessings and we might appreciate that we can grow old gracefully!

Here is a song that talks about the greatest grace which is the grace that God gives us - each day.
Your Grace Finds Me
Verses for Today:
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I pray, Lord, for restored health but more importantly I pray to grow gracefully each day.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sharing Beyond Books #200 Comment Giveaway April 25, 2015

Hello again on Saturday night and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB! I announced last week that we would have a party tonight to celebrate SBB post #200. I suggested we each share a favorite reading quote this week. I'll pick a winner to get a book of choice (doesn't have to be on my lists) so please name the book you would like to win in your comment. (Value $12.00 for ebook or print.)

This was another semi-busy week at the office. I am working through some projects, adding one or two new suits while I close others. Today I spent doing light chores around the house while I fight a bit of a cold.

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.

Most of us (except one) had a pet peeve or two about reviews. The biggest choices were 'spoilers' and 'lack of details' which were both mentioned four times. Two people mentioned 'too long' or 'too much story'. Others mentioned 'excerpts', bad language, poor grammar, attacks on the author and reference to an event that makes the reader wait until the end.


The Winner from SBB #199 comments is: #9 MaryP who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated ARC/Review titles or (not yet updated) Love titles - all linked near the end of the post. I'm hoping to update the book choices this week. Please let me know your choice by completing the (new) WINNER FORM.

WEEK #200; (One Question.)

Q1. I'll give Ricki credit for this question: What is your favorite quote from a book, and why is this your favorite?? [Don't forget to name the book you would like to win in your comment.]
A: There are so many good quotes! Although this book may not be a literary classic, it has some wonderful quotes. I chose this one to celebrate SBB#200. It is a favorite because it presents my feelings about books.  
“Her curiosity was too much for her. She felt almost as if she could hear the books whispering on the other side of the half-open door. They were promising her a thousand unknown stories, a thousand doors into worlds she had never seen before.” INKHEART (CORNELIA FUNKE)
Image found at Pinterest - Inkheart.

                   Image found at Tumblr Inkheart

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.
Comments for April were submitted by: Elizabeth, nrlymrtl, bn100 and Ricki. The Comment winner is: Elizabeth.

Your turn to share:

Q1. Ricki asks: What is your favorite quote from a book, and why is this your favorite??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the  Valentine and "Love" books or the February 2015 Newly Updated ARC/Review List. (My daughter pulled several of the Christmas titles to give with gift bags we made up for the nursing homes. I still have to go back and update that list with what is left and a few new titles to add.)

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 May 2, 2015 at 5 PM  central.

Book Review: The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

This is an engaging and imaginative dystopian story.
by Francesca Haig
  • File Size: 3075 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (March 10, 2015)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
The Hunger Games meets Cormac McCarthy’s The Road in this richly imagined first novel in a new post-apocalyptic trilogy by award-winning poet Francesca Haig.

Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that has laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair, one is an Alpha—physically perfect in every way; and the other an Omega—burdened with deformity, small or large. With the Council ruling an apartheid-like society, Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world’s sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: Whenever one twin dies, so does the other.

Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality. For daring to envision a world in which Alphas and Omegas live side-by-side as equals, both the Council and the Resistance have her in their sights.

Cass lives in a society that is still recovering from nuclear destruction. Four hundred years after the fires there is a generation of twins, always male and female, who are separated into two distinct classes. The Alphas are without deformity and they get to remain with their parents, go to school and enter the ruling society. The Omegas, who have at least one defect are branded, separated from their family and sent to Omega working communities. The controlling Alphas would like to ignore their twins, but they cannot because if either twin dies, so does the other.

Cass is a rare seer, dreaming or sensing future events around her. She was able to hide this ‘defect’ for years which caused anger and resentment to grow in her twin, Zach. The family suffered ostracism because they could not separate out the Omega. Zach tricked Cass into revealing her secret when they were 13 and she was finally sent away to an Omega farming community.

Cass spends six years working and dreaming of a world where people are given equal chance. Meanwhile Zach, known as the Reformer, has gained a powerful position on the Alpha Council creating enemies in both factions. Zach captures Cass and imprisons her in a secluded cell, presumably to protect her from his own enemies. But there is a devious conspirator working with the Alpha Council, another seer known as The Confessor. The Confessor relentlessly questions Cass regarding any visions of a rumored Island of refuge where Omega’s live without the oppressive restrictions and taxes imposed by the Alphas. Cass refuses to break under the hateful probing and one day she pushes back and sees awful sights in the mind of The Confessor.

Fearing what they will do to her next, Cass escapes and manages to release another prisoner before leaving the fortress. The young boy, who is missing an arm, has lost his memories of life before his imprisonment. Cass names him Kip and they manage, with the aid of Cass’s foresight, to elude pursuers as they travel in hope of finding The Island. They find bits of help along the way and even spend a few weeks in relative safety. But Cass knows that The Confessor is always probing her thoughts and wherever Cass and Kip go they expose friends to danger.

Cass and Kip find what appears to be an Omega safe place. At least it was safe until Cass arrived. Piper, the young leader, is not sure if he can believe Cass found their carefully hidden refuge without help. Some of the leaders want to kill her, especially when they discover the identity of her twin. Even if she isn’t a spy, chances are she brings danger. But Piper hopes he can use her abilities to help the rebellion forces. Cass tries to get Piper and other rebels to understand her desire to find a world of peace instead of a world where Omegas are cast aside and twins are killed for political advantage.

The story continues with the clever rebel Omegas battling the ruthless, manipulative Alphas. A new character is added rather late in the story giving aid and challenging Cass to stop running and take a stand. There is also a good twist, or two, as the book reaches its climax. It is clear that there is still a lot of story left for a sequel and it will be interesting to see where the author’s creative imagination takes this difficult society.

I enjoyed the easy writing style, the determined characters and the action. There were a few drawbacks where I questioned the lack of sense and caution but these actions could well fit young people who tend to be impetuous, reckless and don’t always recognize their own mortality. The story is entertaining and suitable for young adults. I think it could make an interesting movie.

I received this title through NetGalley for an honest review. It qualifies for NetGalley Challenge.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway April 24, 2015

It is hard to believe April is almost over! Four months whizzed by. This has been another busy week...mostly productive. Just today (Thursday) I started to experience cold symptoms so I am planning on going to bed early in hopes to nip it in the bud.
I'll have to get a new set of books together for next week.

US Entrants: Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists.
INTERNATIONAL: Leave a comment indicating "Gift Card" (see further comments near the end of the post.)

CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 9:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up to late 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 without other people asking for that book during those weeks.

Thank you to all who entered the April 17 Pick. We are back to reasonable auto win this week with only one.  (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 two titles blocked.
LindaK gets Midwife Mommy 
SueF gets the Dick Francis Pair

to picked Winners from April 17 Pick:
(two lucky first week picks)
Janhvi gets a GC
Betty gets the Lisa Gardner Pair

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.}
Have you found a Best Book this month?
Image found at The Slanted.

New Book Group #56 March 20, 2015
(I'll try to get the rest linked another day.)
Dick Francis: A Jockey's Life and Proof (spine creases)
Catherine Lanigan: Tender Malice and Elusive Love (spine creases)
Parent Trap Anthology, Dallas Schulze, Lisa Jackson, Kasey Michaels
Madison Avenue Marriage (Silhouette Desire #129) by Cassandra Bishop
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
Ain't Myth-Behaving by Kate MacAlister
Death at Play by Nancy Gotter Gates
Where is He Now? by Jennifer Greene
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)
Aphrodite's Secret by Julie Kenner
Virtually His by Gennita Low
Dead Even by Brad Metzger
Mommy Midwife by Cassie Miles
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

New Book Group #55 February 5, 2015
(I'll try to get the rest linked another day.)

Virginia Henley: The Pirate and the Pagan (spine creases) and The Falcon and the Flower
James Patterson: London Bridges and Roses are Red (both spine creases)
Pale Kings and Princes by Robert Parker Audio Cassette Tapes
Hour Game by David Baldacci (spine creases)
If I Had You by Deborah Bedford
The Girl With the Golden Spurs by Ann Major
Can't Take My Eyes Off of You by Kasey Michaels
Dark Possession by Christine Feehan
Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel Gibson
The Man Who Ate the 747 by Ben Sherwood
Paradise Bay by James Michael Pratt
The Last Two Bachelors by Debbie Macomber
Exclusive Anthology by Fiona Hood-Stewart, Sharon Kendrick and Jackie Braun
Duets Romantic Comedy: Lady and the Scamp by Candy Halliday & The Doctor Dilemma by Dianne Drake

New Book Group #54 December 26, 2014

Lisa Gardner: Alone and Gone
Janet Evanovich: Eleven on Top and Twelve Sharp
Stuart Wood: L.A. Dead and Fresh Disasters
Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card - Tape Cassettes

BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty byVickie Kennedy
First to Fight Anthology
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin
Maybe This Time by Victoria Barrett
The Commander by Kate Bridges
The Cinderella Plan by Margaret Daley
The Mr. & Mrs. Happy Handbook by Steve Doocy
A Garden of Friends by Penny Pierce Rose
Intrepid Encounter by Rebecca Ashley
A Stranger's Wife by Maggie Osborne
Richard Paul Evans PAIR: The Looking Glass and The Carousel
Duo Book: Yesterday's Memories by Tara Taylor Quinn and Amanda Stevens
At The Stroke of Madness by Alex Kava
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle
Catherine Anderson PAIR: Seventh Heaven and Always in My Heart
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot
Sleeping with Ward Cleaver by Jenny Gardiner

BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)

Touched by Fire by Kathleen O'Reilly
Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
It All Began at Monte Carlo by Elizabeth Adler
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
Mariah Stewart PAIR: Priceless and Brown-Eyed Girl
Cattle Rancher, Secret Son by Margaret Way
Whisper on the Wind by Joan Smith
Fulfillment by Barbara Delinsky
Trouble Becomes Her by Laura Van Wormer
Remember Me by Mary Higgins Clark
Diana Palmer PAIR: Diamond Spur, Long Tall Texan
A Lady of Consequence by Mary Nichols
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain
Illegal Possession by Kay Hooper

BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)

Final Justice by Jasmine Cresswell
Thinner by Stephen King
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
Mary Higgins Clark PAIR: Let Me Call You Sweetheart and Moonlight Becomes You (SC)
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
Dancing on Snowflakes by Jane Bonander
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley -- 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
The Millionaire's Daughter by Sophie Weston
Tara Taylor Quinn: Father: Unknown and McGillus v.Wright
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
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.
Bride by Command by Linda Winstead Jones
Awaken the Senses by Nalini Singh

BOX #1 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 1- 23)

Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo
One Eye Closed by Karen Whiddon
The Darkroom by Minette Walters
Prey by Michael Crichton - Audio Tape
Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
McNally's Puzzle by Lawrence Sanders
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser
Death Angel by Linda Howard

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 five+ years I have posted 54 groups of 16 (864) books to find new homes! (as of February 6, 2015).

I am happy to say that so far about 806+ 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. 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!

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 $7.00 and $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)

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!


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