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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Audio Book Review: Only Ever You by Rebecca Drake

This is a well written, chilling and emotional suspense!
Only Ever You
Written by: Rebecca Drake
Narrated by: Eva Kaminsky
Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:03-22-16
Publisher: Recorded Books
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0
Audible Link


Description
Three-year-old Sophia Lassiter disappears at the playground only to return after 40 frantic minutes-- but her mother Jill's relief is short lived. Jill is convinced the tiny dots on her daughter's arm are puncture marks. When doctors find no trace of drugs in her system, Jill accepts she won't ever know what happened during her daughter's absence and is simply grateful to have her home safely. Except Sophia isn't safe. Three months later, she disappears again. This time from her bed at home, in the night. Working with the police and the community, Jill and her husband David are desperate to bring their little girl home. They remain hopeful---until information turns up suggesting their daughter was murdered, causing the police to turn their suspicions on the parents. Facing ugly family secrets and heart-rending evidence, Jill is still convinced her daughter is alive. But when the dragnet begins to close around them, Jill realizes the worst: if the police believe she has killed her daughter, that means they aren't out there looking for the real perpetrator. They aren't hunting for Sophie or the person who still has her.


Review:
Jill is a photographer used to taking family photos to commemorate occasions. She also gives her time to take photos of grieving parents as she can share their unique pain of loss. Jill’s husband, David, is an up and coming lawyer working to reach partnership in his firm. They adopted Sophia as a newborn and love her as they would a natural child. Sophia goes missing from a public park but is found at the edge of the woods after a frantic 40-minute search. It seems that Sophia may have chased after a dog but Jill is worried about the pin prick on her arm. The doctors find no evidence of foul play and suggest it might be a bug bite.

Jill becomes even more careful watching her child. One morning she awakens to an unusually quite house and soon discovers that Sophia is not in her bedroom or anywhere in the house. The police begin an investigation and the neighborhood turns out to help in the search. When no kidnapping demand is made and evidence is found that suggest murder the police begin to suspect the parents. Innocent statements expressing normal parental frustrations are turned into negative and ominous threats. Then secrets are disclosed that create further suspicion, even between Jill and David. Jill is still focused on finding Sophia but the police are now focusing on her.

As the tension at home builds, the author weaves in scenes showing the actions of the deranged kidnapper. Slowly a connection is revealed that ties in some unexpected players. The mystery suddenly leaps into a suspenseful evasion from police while racing to save Sophia from threats fueled by betrayal and secrets.

I enjoyed the alternating points of view showing Jill’s emotional upheaval and the kidnapper’s unhinged intent. The reaction and responsive behaviors of arrogant colleagues and friends, as well as strangers, is sadly horrifying. Ms. Drake creates real to life characters that the reader/listener can relate to. The pacing was good and the twists kept me glued. Although I suspected an important element early in the story, the author built in red herrings and twists that kept the suspense increasing until the end. I recommend this to readers who enjoy emotional and chilling suspense.

Audio Notes: Eva Kaminsky does a very good job with the narration. I was impressed how she brings the characters alive. The adept voicing and energy fit the suspense of the story. The narration helped make this a gripping experience.


I received this audio book from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox. It qualifies for my Audio Challenge and O in Alphabet Challenge.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sharing Beyond Books #281 Comment Giveaway December 3, 2016 (Posted 12/5)

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.

All commenters indicate they like to get their agenda or calendar before the new year starts. Only three had the calendar before answering the question. Five people mentioned they like simple or basic and a couple like gorgeous pictures or cute animal pictures. Several want big squares; some want wall calendars and others desk or table. Two people figure they will end up using a phone app.

~~~~~

The Winner from SBB #280 comments is: #4 Fredamans 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 #281
(One Question.)
MaryP asks: Have you ever bought a book because of the title alone??
I can say that I have selected books because of the title although I still look at the description/blurb before I buy it. I recently picked up an Audible title because the title matched my hubby: Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. It was also free. Plus this past month I picked out Audible titles that can be TBR and started with alphabet letters I will need for next year's Alphabet Soup Challenge: The Zoo at the Edge of the World, Quarter Share and Until the End of the World. Of course these are books I think I will enjoy. :-)

Image result
Image Found at Dan Wilber - Better Book Titles.
(I must say googling an image for this topic brought some pretty interesting,
 and sometimes crude, results.)

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: MaryP asks: Have you ever bought a book because of the title alone??

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. One of these days I will get together a new box of Christmas titles.)

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 December 10, 2016 at 5 PM central.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Post December 4, 2016/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday December 5, 2016.


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.

We had a good week this week visiting friends in LaGrange, KY. The guys worked on the RV while the girls went shopping! Plus we went out for our Anniversary. That resulted in two nights with no computer. We visited the ARK Encounter which was very impressive and had a few nights just to ourselves on the route home - going to bed early before computer time.
I had to accept being away from the computer which was hard for me - but good too.

Reading was good. I finished one audiobook and two ebooks. I am 60% into the next audiobook. I posted two reviews and most of the usual memes (if a bit late).

I didn't get to visit at all last week so that means no blog link to share this week.
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • Book Review: The Reader by M.K. Harkins; Sci Fi, Paranormal, YA; my rating 4.5.
  • Sharing Beyond Books will be posted on Monday.

Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (NetGalley)


The Wrong Unit: A Novel
by Rob Dircks
This is a delightful sci fi.
I received this from the publisher through NetGalley.
Click on book title for full description.



2. Audible (TBR)


The Synchronicity War, Part 1
Written by: Dietmar Wehr
Narrated by: Luke Daniels
I got caught up with the characters and will need to get book 2 soon!
This has been in my Audible Library

since December 2015.
Click on book title for full description.



3. eBook/Kindle (Author)


Toru: Wayfarer Returns
by Stephanie R. Sorensen
This is an engaging and interesting read.
I received this from the publisher through NetGalley.
Click on book title for full description.




Currently reading:

1. Audio (TBR)


Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
Written by: Richard Paul Evans
Narrated by: Fred Berman
I am enjoying the suspense in this,
even with teen characters.
This is from my Audible Library, November 2012.

Publisher's Summary
My name is Michael Vey, and the story I'm about to tell you is strange. Very strange. It's my story."
To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary 14-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette's syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers.
Michael thinks he's unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael's friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children - and through them, the world. Michael will have to rely on his wits, powers, and friends if he's to survive.
©2011 Simon and Schuster (P)2011 Richard Paul Evans



2. Print (TBR)


The Sound of Sleigh Bells: A Romance from the Heart of Amish Country
by Cindy Woodsmall
I won this book a number of years ago and picked it up for our Ladies Book Club. We will meet this Saturday 12/10.
Arrives before Christmas.
Beth Hertzler works alongside her beloved Aunt Lizzy in their dry goods store, and serving as contact of sorts between Amish craftsmen and Englischers who want to sell the Plain people’s wares. But remorse and loneliness still echo in her heart everyday as she still wears the dark garb, indicating mourning of her fiancĂ©. When she discovers a large, intricately carved scene of Amish children playing in the snow, something deep inside Beth’s soul responds and she wants to help the unknown artist find homes for his work–including Lizzy’s dry goods store. But she doesn’t know if her bishop will approve of the gorgeous carving or deem it idolatry.
Lizzy sees the changes in her niece when Beth shows her the woodworking, and after Lizzy hunts down Jonah, the artist, she is all the more determined that Beth meets this man with the hands that create healing art. But it’s not that simple–will Lizzy’s elaborate plan to reintroduce her niece to love work? Will Jonah be able to offer Beth the sleigh ride she’s always dreamed of and a second chance at real love–or just more heartbreak?



3. eBook/Kindle (NetGalley)


The Circuit: Executor Rising
by Rhett C. Bruno
I am looking forward to starting this.
I received this from the publisher through NetGalley.
"A hard-charging opener to a promising, if bloody, space-opera series." —KIRKUS
Centuries after Earth was rendered an uninhabitable wasteland, humanity was forced from its homeworld and founded the Kepler Circuit, a string of colonies throughout the solar system. These settlements provide resources to the remnants of humankind, the most important resource being the newly discovered element—Gravitum—found only in the Earth’s unstable mantle.
But a powerful religious faction known as the New Earth Tribunal has risen to preside over most of the Circuit. Though there is barely a faction left to challenge them, a string of attacks on the Tribunal’s freighters causes them to suspect their mortal enemies, the Ceresians, of foul play.
Tasked with solving the problem is Sage Volus: Tribunal Executor. Spy.
Sage quickly infiltrates the ranks of a roguish, Ceresian mercenary named Talon Rayne, seeking to discover the truth behind the attacks, but the longer she works amidst Talon and his squad, the more she finds her faith in the Tribunal tested.
While her quest for answers only unearths more questions, a new threat is on the rise, and it plans to bring down the Tribune once and for all.



December 4, 2016 - I am still a little behind on Bible reading. I have been listening on my MP3 to get caught up.
I have been enjoying listening to the companion commentary online when I am home.
I am reading The One Year Bible again along with my husband and others from our church.

I posted two reviews which keeps me a bit behind; five to be posted.. I now have  four to post.

I still plan to request audio titles as I can always squeeze listening in!
It looks like I managed to read eight sci fi titles for Sci Fi November. But I didn't get most of them posted.


Now that I am back home I hope to get the new releases up on eTreasure's NetGalley page.


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 didn't pick up any review titles... actually had little chance to respond to requests.
I did pick up a cart full of Audible titles on sale early last week.
I picked up two Kindle titles for $.99.
Even though I was offline part of the week, I still managed to pick up a good number of free kindle titles when I got back online. 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 Title
NONE


Won
NONE

Purchased
I treated myself to an early Christmas present by purchasing nine Audible titles for under $20.00.
Several were only $1.99 because I own the Kindle version and some were on sale.
1. The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer
2. The Borrowed World: A Novel of Post-Apocalyptic Collapse, Volume 1 by Franklin Horton
3. Star Nomad: Fallen Empire, Book 1 by Lindsay Buroker
4. The Ember War: Publisher's Pack, Books 1-2 by Richard Fox
5. Until the End of the World by Sarah Lyons Fleming
6. A Hymn Before Battle: Legacy of the Aldenata by John Ringo
7. Rath's Deception: The Janus Group, Book 1 by Piers Platt
8. Forging Zero: The Legend of ZERO by Sara King
9. Timebound by Rysa Walker

I also purchased two Kindle Sci Fi titles for $.99 each:

The Cost of Victory: Crimson Worlds II
Jay Allan



A Little Rebellion: Crimson Worlds III
Jay Allan

Book 1, Marines: Crimson Worlds I was free and these two were on sale.
This series look like it will be good.


Free
Free from Audible: Invisible Man: A Novel by Ralph Ellison

I only added 44 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 December 4, 2015

A couple of months ago our Sunday School teacher was re-reading This Present Darkness and his lesson addressed spiritual warfare. Our walk with God is often up and down. We need to be aware that spiritual warfare comes in different ways and forms. Attacks from Satan are often emotional but almost always directed to each individual; aimed to pull that person from their walk with God. Some health issues may be genetic and the result of generation curses. Such curses can be broken with God’s power if we let the Holy Spirit work in us. Sometimes God gives full deliverance. We need to recognize when we are under spiritual attack. Each person has free choice and is responsible for his or her choices in the way they respond.

We can face a battle in our minds and we need to be clear who is speaking to us and whose voice we allow in our lives. We need to pray for our leaders who face the same attacks.
Satan prowls to attack vulnerable people, waiting for an opportune time (Luke 4:13). James says people are drawn away by their own selfish desires. The tools we have to fight the enemy include the powerful name of Jesus.

I have chosen this song to go with this message: Your Name
Verses for Today:
1 Peter 5: 8-10
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Lord Jesus I call upon your name seeking your strength and protection. Please help me each day to resist the temptations that would lead me away from You.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Book Review: The Reader by M.K. Harkins

I enjoyed this paranormal suspense.
The Reader
by MK Harkins
File Size: 934 KB
Print Length: 260 pages
Publication Date: August 17, 2016
ASIN: B01IM9A6KY
Genre: Paranormal, YA
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One.
She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos.
As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Review:
Ann wakes up on a beach in pain and under gunfire. Two gorgeous men sweep in to hustle her to safety. She has no memory of events or even her name but going with them seems better than being shot… again.

Devon and Archer are “Readers” who believe that Ann is ‘the Lost One’ who can save their race of Readers according to an old prophesy. They are saving her from the ‘enemy’ clan of Hijackers or “Jacks” who are also seeking her as the key element to power under the prophesy. Devon and Archer bring Ann to the Readers’ secret compound where she is helped by a kind doctor and welcomed by almost everyone. It soon is clear that Devon and Archer are attracted to Ann even as she is conflicted by her feelings.

Ann finds peace in the Reader community but also feels she must escape to discover who she really is and what happened to her parents. Her attempted escape has consequences that lead to the beginning of the war between the Readers and the Jacks. Ann discovers her parents are being held captive and she is betrayed by someone she trusted.

The story is told by Ann in first person and got my attention from the very beginning. I enjoyed the conflict of Ann’s emotions and feelings. I especially liked the twists that kept the danger and excitement moving until the end. Although this story has YA elements it has more plot and intrigue than YA angst – which I think is a good thing. The settings and emotions are portrayed with good realism and blend well with the paranormal element. I appreciated that the story was “clean” with no foul language or sexual descriptions beyond kissing. I found the story engaging and would look for more by this author.

I received this from the publisher through NetGalley. It qualifies for my NetGalley Challenge and was part of my November Sci Fi reading.

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