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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Audible Book Review: Linesman by S. K. Dunstall

I really like the characters and the unique storyline in this. I’m ready to listen to more.
Linesman
Written by: S. K. Dunstall
Narrated by: Brian Hutchison
Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:06-30-15
Publisher: Recorded Books
Genre: Sci Fi, Space Military
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0


Publisher's Summary
First in a brand-new, thought-provoking space opera series.
The lines. No ship can traverse the void without them. Only linesmen can work with them. But only Ean Lambert hears their song. And everyone thinks he's crazy.... Most slum kids never go far, certainly not becoming a level 10 linesman like Ean. Even if he's part of a small and unethical cartel, and the other linesmen disdain his self-taught methods, he's certified and working. Then a mysterious alien ship is discovered at the edges of the galaxy. Each of the major galactic powers is desperate to be the first to uncover the ship's secrets, but all they've learned is that it has the familiar lines of energy and a defense system that, once triggered, annihilates everything in a 200 kilometer radius. The vessel threatens any linesman who dares to approach it, except Ean. His unique talents may be the key to understanding this alarming new force and forever reconfiguring the relationship between humans and the ships that serve them.
©2015 S.K. Dunstall (P)2015 Recorded Books


Review:
Ean Lambert is a linesman but his skills are different than most linesmen. Lines are paths of energy which serve specific purposes on space ships. Lower lines (1 through 5) control more basic systems not needed for space travel, and these are on planets too. The technology is not completely understood and no one yet knows the purpose of lines 7 and 8. Most linesmen have a special extra sensory perception and have been taught to manipulate the lines by pushing them into place to keep them working properly. The linesmen are certified at the highest level, 1-10, that they can manipulate.

Ean’s contract is with one of the least respected cartels but Ean was glad to sign on for the training and the chance to become a linesman. His boss did manage to get him certified as a Level 10, although it was all a bit unorthodox because Ean doesn’t manipulate the lines like the others. He hears the songs of the lines and sings to them – and they respond. Ean doesn’t get the respect the other high linesmen get, but while other 10s were out at the ‘confluence’ trying to learn the secrets of an alien ship, Ean has been busy fixing lines on many ships and gaining a reputation as a reliable, if strange, linesman.

Ean’s life is suddenly changed when his contract is bought by an angry woman from the Lancastrian Princess. Ean was raised in the slums of Lancastra so he doesn’t have warm feelings towards their rulers. The crew doesn’t welcome him warmly, although the lines do. Slowly the crew, especially the ship’s owner, Michelle, her high-ranking bodyguard, Abram, and eventually the ship’s captain, Helmo, begin to appreciate Ean’s unique talents. When they realize that Ean can communicate with the mysterious alien ship, he quickly becomes their secret weapon. He discovers line 11 on the alien ship, learns the purposes of the other lines and realizes that he can use the lines collectively. Which is a big help when enemies first try to attack the alien ship and then try to kidnap Ean.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Ean and the lines. (I suppose some might relate if they have a car or other object they pat and croon too.) The story is told in third person primarily focused on Ean but rotating to other characters too. One of these is Jordan Rossi, an arrogant, rival Level 10 who thinks Ean is crazy and dangerous. Ean is assigned his own bodyguard, Radko, and I like her no nonsense attitude. There is political intrigue that Ean becomes entangled in even though he doesn’t fully understand it all.

The story is full of strong, likeable characters and has a fresh storyline full of action and intrigue. The writing flows well; mostly at a quick pace. When I had to turn it off, I was anxious to get back to listen to more. This book has an appropriate ending but there is clearly more for the next book and I look forward to continuing the adventure.

Audio Notes: Brian Hutchison does a wonderful job with the narration. He gives each character their unique personality, flair and emotions, and his narration flows so well that you aren’t conscious of the reading. There are a few slower points in the story and he manages to maintain a good flow even through those. The narration definitely enhanced my enjoyment of this story and I highly recommend this in audio format.

This book is from my Audible Library (September 2016). It qualifies for my 2017 Audio, Mount TBR and “L” in Alphabet Challenge.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Post February 19, 2017/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday February 20, 2017.


I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading now at The Book Date.
Thank you to Sheila for the years that she handled this meme.
Thank you to Kathryn for taking up the baton.
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 am finally past the cold bug. I had a busy week with Heather away Thursday and Friday. Hubby and I got to have the grand kids (12, 9 and 6) over plus their two dogs so we had a full house Thursday through tonight. It was fun but tiring too.
Hubby feels better but is still tired a lot and fussing about wearing the LifeVest,
We had pretty pleasant weather all week.

Reading was better than expected but I had to push to get reviews done while the kids were here. I finished four books: two ebooks and two audios. I posted three reviews on the blog and posted all of my usual memes.

I am enjoying my visiting again 25+ blogs last week.
My shout out this week goes to Readers In Wonderland, a site I stumbled on a few weeks ago.
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:

Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (NG)


Someone to Hold (A Westcott Novel)
by Mary Balogh
MBalogh succeeds once again with strong, natural characters in a different situation.
Click on book title for full description.



2. Audible (AudaVoxx)


The Soldier's Secret
Written by: Heather Osborne
Narrated by: Kristyl Dawn Tift
I enjoyed this Civil War story.
I received this from AudaVoxx for review as a new member gift.
Click on book title for full description.



3. eBook/Kindle (NGTBR)


The Blue Hour
by Isabelle Simler
I was pleased to read this visual book with my granddaughters.
Received through NetGalley.
A lovely and tranquil celebration of nature
The sun has set, the day has ended, but the night hasn't quite arrived yet. This magical twilight is known as the blue hour. Everything in nature—sky, water, flowers, birds, foxes—comes together in a symphony of blue to celebrate the merging of night and day.
With its soothing text and radiant artwork, this elegant picture book displays the majesty of nature and reminds readers that beauty is fleeting but also worth savoring.



4. Audio (eStories)



The Detainee
Written By Peter Liney
This sounded good to me and is not available on Audible. I received it from eStories.
When the fog comes down and the drums start to beat, the inhabitants of the island tremble: for the punishment satellites - which keep the tyrannical Wastelords at bay - are blind in the darkness, and the islanders become prey.
The inhabitants are the old, the sick, the poor: the detritus of Society, dumped on the island with the rest of Society's waste.
There is no point trying to escape, for the satellites - the invisible eyes of the law - mete out instant judgement from the sky. The island is the end of all hope - until 'Big Guy' Clancy finds a blind woman living in a secret underground warren, and discovers a reason to fight.




Currently reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (Author)


Glenfiddich Inn
by Alan Geik
I am 40% into this and learning interesting historical tidbits.
Click on book title for full description.



2. Audio (ABJ)


Alliance
Author: S.K. Dunstall
Narrator: Brian Hutchinson
I really liked book one and am looking forward to book two.
I received this audio book from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox

As the Linesman series continues, linesman Ean Lambert finds himself facing an alien ship he doesn't understand-and a terrifying political threat he cannot fight The lines. The soul of every ship. It was once thought there were only ten, but that was before an alien vessel appeared at the edge of space-before Ean Lambert heard more lines singing. Ean's ways of communicating with lines is strange. But his abilities make him a valuable tool-or weapon-to command. Captain Selma Kari Wang has lost everything-her ship, her crew, her legs. But the New Alliance of Worlds is not done with her yet. After they rebuild her broken body, they send her to captain one of the new alien ships, teaming her up with Ean, the only one who can understand the alien lines. Kari Wang and Ean are poised on the threshold of discoveries that could change the world. But not everyone wants the New Alliance to control the secrets they uncover-and those who oppose won't hesitate to do whatever it takes to stop them.



3. eBook/Kindle (Author)


Girl of Fire: The Expulsion Project Book One
(A Science Fiction Dystopian Thriller)
by Norma Hinkens
I enjoyed another book by this author (Immurement) and wanted to try this sci-fi dystopian.
I received this from the author.
ORIGIN. DESTINY. FATE. How far would you go to unravel the truth?
Trattora is the adopted daughter of the Chieftain on a primitive frontier planet. Velkan is an indentured serf who has never known a day of freedom. Forced to flee a terrifying invasion by Galactic Pirates, they find themselves thrown together on a ramshackle mining vessel that harbors more than one dark secret. Fate and chemistry combine when the pair’s matching birth bracelets lead them to a shocking discovery about their true lineage. Stakes rise when they uncover the classified Expulsion Project, and the devastating sacrifice their birth families made to spare their lives. Determined to save them from liquidation, Trattora and Velkan plunge headlong into a frantic race against time and space to take down the genocidal self-actualizing software that now controls large swathes of their home planet.
But will they navigate the treacherous dealings of the seedy Galactic underworld in time to rescue the families who loved them enough to let them go?
Girl of Fire is the first novel in The Expulsion Project, a sci-fi, dystopian thriller trilogy with a whisper of romance, a heavy dose of adventure, and action galore. If you are a Firefly or Dark Matter fan, or still in Hunger Games or Cinder withdrawal, this is the book mashup for you!


February 19, 2017 - I am up to date with the One Year Bible; reading along with my husband and others from our church. I hope to take more time this year, staying on the day and listening to the companion commentary online.

I completed four new books and posted three reviews. That puts me at five reviews to post.
I now have 15 NetGalley Titles and still 12+ author titles in my queue.


We're working on two more titles to go up on the eTreasure's NetGalley page this week.


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 (yours truly). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I received only one review eBook this week.
I resisted the Audible Daily Deals again but picked up two more $.99 Kindle titles.
I picked up a good number of free kindle titles again. (Note these are in my Amazon library, NOT on my Kindle until I download and transfer them.)

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles
I received one eBook for review:
I received this from Inkitt for review early March. It releases March 1.
Eric Olafson, Space Pirate
by Vanessa Ravencroft
"It's the year 5019 and the Milky Way Galaxy is teeming with life and exotic species. The majority of the known civilizations have formed a multi-cultural mega organization called the United Stars of Galaxies. This Union is protected by the brave men and women of the United Stars Space fleet against external threats."
This sounds like an action sci fi I would like.


Won
NONE

Purchased
Again I picked up two Kindle $.99 deals:
Columbus Day (Expeditionary Force Book 1)
Craig Alanson
"We were fighting on the wrong side, of a war we couldn't win. And that was the good news."
I picked this sci fi up for $.99; now I might get the Audible version for $2.99.



The Unexpected Bride (The Brides Book 1)
Lena Goldfinch
"What's a man to do when his father orders him a bride?"
I just liked the looks and sound of this.


Free

I only added 58 free Kindle titles to my library this week. 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 February 19, 2017

Once again, our Sunday School teacher shared a good lesson/message from Gary Wilkerson based on text from Titus. We learned some new worship songs and Pastor continued his sermons series on When Faith and Life Collide.

Continuing with James 2:14 -26, Pastor noted that some things were made for each other, they just fit or go together. Such ‘matings’ are often deemed to validate our reason to be.
Faith and works are like that. James 2:17 says that ‘faith without works is dead’. If you have faith but have no action, what good is it? if you are not driven to action, your faith is useless.
James discusses the examples of Abraham and Rahab. These are special people mentioned in the old and new testaments. The both showed their faith by their actions in trusting God.

Sermon Point We are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

The accompanying action validates our faith. What does God want you to sacrifice to validate your faith? We have to be ready to follow His plan not our own. Think about things in your life. Can you fill in the blank in this sentence: I trust God with _________ and this is how I show it. We must take action to validate and authenticate our faith. We need power in faith and church. Faith that is powerful can't wait to get out. What action will validate your faith this week?

I set this song aside a couple of weeks ago. I think it fits today.
Verses for Today:
James 2: 17-20 (NLT)
17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God.[f] Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

Lord, I need your power and direction each day so that I may do good deeds to show my faith.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Book Review: From London with Love: Rebellious Brides by Diana Quincy

This is quite a nice historical romance.
From London with Love: Rebellious Brides
by Diana Quincy
File Size: 5089 KB
Print Length: 268 pages
Publisher: Loveswept (February 7, 2017)
ASIN: B01GYPPMLG
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating 4.25 of 5.0


With wedding bells ringing and a killer stalking from the shadows, a former British spy makes up for lost time with the one that got away in this thrilling Regency romance from the author of Spy Fall and License to Wed.
Emilia St. George is moments away from marrying the admired grandson of a duke when the man who once jilted her decides to kidnap her at the altar. It’s the second time in five years Hamilton Sparrow has ruined her wedding day, and Emilia isn’t about to forgive him. The mere sight of her ex-fiancĂ© revives painful memories—and, most regrettably, aching desires that refuse to be ignored.
Scanning the guests at Emilia’s wedding, Sparrow spots a familiar face: an assassin he recognizes from his days as a spy in France. Whisking Emilia away, he’s pleasantly surprised by her newly formed curves. Could this be the same flame-haired slip of a girl once promised to Sparrow? And does the fop she still insists on marrying realize what a prize she is? True, Sparrow left Emilia at the altar. But he’s afraid that the only way to right that particular wrong is to risk the one thing he’s always guarded: his heart.


Review:
Emilia is about to marry the grandson of a duke when she is swept out of the church by Hamilton Sparrow, the man who jilted her five years before. Emilia is still hurt by Hamilton’s abandonment and she doesn’t understand why he has to ruin her second wedding even if he claims that she is the target of an assassin. The fact that a bullet flies by their heads as they flee does give some strength to Sparrow’s pronouncement.

Hamilton snatched Emilia after he spotted an assassin who he recognized from his spy activities. He was quick to react and once he finds himself protecting Emilia he feels he must solve the mystery of why she is a target. Hamilton thought he had a good reason to leave Emilia behind five years earlier, but the more time he spends with her the more he thinks that he made a mistake. Yet he loved a woman once who betrayed his trust. He doesn't plan to let that happen again.

There are several potential suspects who might want her dead, even her fiancé, although he would do better if they were married first. Ms. Quincy does a good job blending the danger and mystery with the growing relationship between Hamilton and Emilia which is warm and lovely. The characters are nicely developed and make the story more engaging. There is some fun banter but also some rather base descriptions. The couple of sexual encounters are on the visual side but still tastefully done.

The story moves quickly and I enjoyed the twists and turns that complement the romance. I recommend this to readers who enjoy historical romance with a mix of mystery, and sweet, sexy romance.

I received this through NetGalley. It qualifies for my 2017 NetGalley and TBR Challenges.

Sharing Beyond Books #291 Comment Giveaway February 18, 2017

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.

There seems to be a good mix of pet names and human names for pets. We now know where "Rubynreba" comes from! I got a good chuckle from Edye's hamster named Strudel! I guess that fits a multi-colored critter.

~~~~~

The Winner from SBB #290 comments is: #2 CAROL L 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 - maybe the beginning of next year, lol.] Please let me know your choice by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #291
(One Question.)
Miki asks: Aside from reading, do you craft and if yes what kind ( crochet? sewing etc?) and if you do, do you try to get books or magazine about that craft or do you go by instinct??
I do not currently have any spare time beyond reading, the blog and cross posting to Goodreads and Amazon. I do have some unfinished needlepoint projects with specific patterns. I like craft magazines and books as I am not creative enough to work by instinct. :-0

This looks like fun to have with kids!
Image found at No Time for Flash Cards. .

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! The supply of questions is dwindling so share some if you think of any -- even if they are duplicates I'll weed through or try to modify.

Your turn to share: Miki asks: Aside from reading, do you craft and if yes what kind ( crochet? sewing etc?) and if you do, do you try to get books or magazine about that craft or do you go by instinct??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the Valentine and "Love" books or the February 2015 Newly Updated ARC/Review List. 2-4-17: I FINALLY have some new "Love" and Christmas titles! I hope to get the picture posted later this week.

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on the question 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 February 25, 2017 at 5 PM central.

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