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4th Annual Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop April 17th to 24th

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mailbox Monday August 31, 2009

I was away last week so it was great fun to get in and find lots of books waiting for me!! I don't have time right now to pull them in individually so I took some group pictures! I will pull them in later in the week so I can share the good books!

See all these packages! It is like Christmas without the wrappings!

This is the group of books from contest wins and friend!



And the books to the right are books received for review!

I have some great reads to look forward to!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What Are You Reading August 31, 2009

August 31, 2009

Finished reading:

PB: Every Skull Tells a Story by Anne Patrick. This is a very lovely, sweet suspense involving a forensic artist. Will review and post at SaSR and blog within the next week.

Audible: Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen – This was a solid Suspense with only a hint at a romance. My own TBR.

Kindle2: Renegade by Sara Parr – an interesting Historical Romance…I really did enjoy this book. It has a bit darker feel to it - lots of mystery. Review will be posted at CataReviews this week.

Once a Dreamer by Rebecca Goings – A historical western – part of Champagne Book’s Orphan Train series. I very much enjoyed this and will be posting the review on the blog this week.

On Fire by Stef Ann Holmes - a fun light contemporary... read for Historical Romance Author of the Month.


Currently reading:

PB: Hardball by Sara Paretsky – the first V.I. Warshawski book I have read. Moves quickly.

Audible: Heaven by Randy Alcorn – Very uplifting! My own TBR.

Kindle2: Movin' up with J.J. by Kim Sheard - a fun contemporary. Reviewing for CataReviews.

A Treasure for Sara by Allison Knight - an historical romance set in 1895 Yukon Territory. Reviewing for the author.

The Macgregor's Daughter by Dee Julian an historical romance set in 1775 Scotland. Reviewing for YGR.



Sunday Words of Encouragement 8/30/09

Today I found this awesome trailer of Amazing Grace / My Chains Are Gone. Definitely one to watch as you listen!





A verse for today is:
I Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.


This morning I prayed particularly for men and women in the armed services who serve so that we might have freedom.

Five Winners of Knight of Desire Drawing!




A big Thank You to all of you who participated in this Drawing!

The five lucky winners are:
Susie, Jake, Natalie, Rebecca and Housemouse88!

You will have to send me you mailing address so I can send it on to Hachette!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Review of Awakening Allaire


Title: Awakening Allaire
Author: Margie Church
Publisher: Class Act Books
Rating: 4.75 of 5
Reviewed by: MarthaE




Buy Link: http://www.classactbooks.com/bkpgawakeningallaire.html
ISBN 978-1-935048-19-0 1-935048-19-8
Word Count: 85,168
Contemporary Romance - Explicit sexual content; some language.

Blurb: Allaire West threw away her marriage to Jeff West when she bedded the handsome and powerful Devon Mercer. Pregnant with Devon’s twins, she tries to pass them off as her husband’s, only to have the ugly truth end with a gunshot.
As Allie puts her life back together, she finally admits the man she loves and wants to spend the rest of her life with is Devon Mercer. Allie secretly attends Devon’s Halloween masquerade party and they share a sizzling reunion.
Her life is turned upside down again when she is kidnapped after the party and held for ransom by two drug-crazed, ex-convicts. Allaire endures starvation, isolation, and drug addiction. With time against him, Devon makes a deal with the devil to find his beloved.

Review: This is a wonderfully written, suspense packed, thriller. A great read. I have rated this just short of the 5 mark only to reflect my personal feelings about the sexual content, adultery issue and some language. However, the plot and writing rate a 5.

I must first say that I do not normally read erotic or sexually explicit books so this was on the edge of that cusp for me. But every sexual scene was done tastefully without unnecessary lewdness or crudeness. It was just more explicit than I am accustomed to and for me could have had fewer sexual scenes. However, the plot and action were strong enough that this was a story with explicit romantic scenes and not just sexual scenes with a weak story. Also, I do not normally read books that include adultery, which I do not favor, so that slipped by me when I agreed to review this. None the less, this story was so well written and so full of suspense that I was able to get past that issue to enjoy the rest of the story.

Allaire is a bright, energetic, passionate woman who longs to have children and definitely needs an outlet for her dedication and passion. She meets Devon Mercer in a town meeting addressing the future development of land. Devon is a strong, gorgeous, sexy and brilliant legal negotiator for the powerful Mercer organization. He is immediately attracted to Allaire, although she has resisted his brother and she initially attempts to resist him as well.

Allaire and Devon are put together to work out a compromise on the development project that will appease Allaire and the environmentalist groups. They develop a friendship that one night slips to more than friendship, resulting in the twins. Devon wants to be part of their lives when he realizes they are his children.

Devon soon steps in to provide a home for Allaire and the children after Jeff and Allaire separate. She is reluctant to have a relationship with him, however, largely due to the guilt she feels about betraying Jeff. Finally she decides she must see if they can be a family rather than allowing him to enter a serious relationship with another woman. They have a very successful reunion and are on the way to being a happy family when she is kidnapped!

Okay- that was only the first half of the book! The second half of the book is full of tense suspense as Allaire struggles being drugged and threatened by her kidnappers. It is also full of Devon’s efforts to locate her and get her home safely. Once she is rescued they have to cope with the traumas and fears left over from her ordeal.

I was extremely impressed at the excellent plot, character development and overall smooth writing style in this book. Actually I have found excellent quality of writing and presentation in the seven or so Class Act Books that I have read and I think this publishing group does a great job of putting out top quality books. Kudos to Class Act and Ms. Church for a job well done! If you like top notch romantic suspense and can handle a bit of explicit sexual content then you would truly enjoy this book!







Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reminder - Knight of Desire Giveaway Ending 8/28


Just a quick reminder to enter the giveaway for Knight of Desire which closes 8/28! Follow the link at the top of right hand side bar. Enter on the Giveaway page by commenting then comment at the review for extra entries!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mailbox Monday August 24, 2009









I already posted last week about the 5 books I won at The Sweetest Romance Chat Friday 8/14!




Last week I also received:
Cowboys of the Silver Screen which I won from Cheryl St. John at Petticoats & Pistols! Thanks Cheryl- My Hubby saw this and said - "oh Nice!"

What are you Reading August 24, 2009


8/24
Finished reading:
PB: Can't Stand the Heat by Loiusa Edwards (ARC) – A very sassy fun read! Reviewing for Nancy Berland, Publicist. Will be posting the review this week.


Audible: -----


Kindle2: Awakening Allaire by Margie Church – More erotic than I am accustomed to but nicely done and a great thriller story! Didn’t quite get the review done yet! So I hope to post it on my blog later this week.

  • Maxwell’s Mansion by Donna McClaire – Contemporary - very nice! Review to be posted at YGR.
  • Dreams Do Come True by E. A. West – Sweet Romance. (Another book I won from the Friday CTR Chat!) Will be doing a short review for my blog.

Audio CD: -------

Currently reading:


PB: Hardball by Sara Paretsky – the first V.I. Warshawski book I have read. Moves quickly.


Every Skull Tells a Story by Anne Patrick. This is a sweet forensic artist suspense. Looking forward to reading this too!


Audible: Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen – Looks like another solid Romantic Suspense from IJ (I still haven’t gotten to the romance part yet!) My own TBR.


Kindle2: Renegade by Sara Parr – an interesting Historical Romance…seems a bit darker than most but I am enjoying it. Reviewing for CataReviews.


Once a Dreamer by Rebecca Goings – A historical western – part of Champagne Book’s Orphan Train series. I am looking forward to starting this which I am reviewing for the author.


Audio CD: None till I find a working CD player!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Words of Encouragment August 23, 2009

This morning our Pastor preached on What Do You Do When Darkness Comes? At the end of the message he reminded us of God's Great Faithfulness.

I found this video that is beautiful musically and full of wonderful reminders of God's promises:



Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Refrain

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Refrain

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Refrain

*************************

A verse from the message today is:
Isaiah 50:10 NIV Who among you fears the LORD, and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.
I was a week early last week praying for children - we prayed this morning for their safety as they start back to school this week!
I also prayed this morning for those struggling with financial difficulties.
I am thankful God has provided all that I need. Thank you Father!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

J. Kaye's Book Blog and Lots of Good Giveaways

I love to visit J. Kaye's Book Blog - there are always different books coming in for review or being reviewed by J. Kaye, her husband Steve (who did a great job on her blog) and her children too!
Here's J. Kaye's Banner - very awesome! ************>>>>


I have joined lots of challenges there - THANKS J. Kaye! Helps keep me focused! HA!

Every single month she has lots of giveaways! Right now there are 19 books up in the August Giveaway - check them out HERE! This is the last week to enter for August so go check on them!

Oh - at first I didn't see this on the list but it deserves special mention! It is bound to be good: ANY MINUTE by Joyce Meyer!

I know you might think I posted this for an extra entry... well that is true for the last couple I haven't entered yet! (I don't think I have the energy to go back and post in all the others!)
BUT I also am posting this to share a great blog and good giveaways!
SO - go enter and say Hi to a wonderful blogger: J. Kaye.



Thanks J. Kaye for the fun blog site and lots of giveaways... where I have won several books myself! :D

OH! I love her little reading guy! *********************>>>>
Isn't he great? Almost like the Pillsbury Dough Boy trimmed down and reading! LOL

In the preveiw the links are working but when it posts it doesn't look like they are so here is the link to the giveaways just in case:
http://j-kaye-book-blog.blogspot.com/2009/08/august-giveaways-last-week-to-enter.html

Intertwined Sweepstakes

Friday, August 21, 2009

Two Print Books Won From Sweetest Romance Chat!




Yeah! Got my two print books from last Friday's Sweetest Romance chat at Coffeetime Romance!


EVERY SKULL TELLS A STORY by Anne Patrick
A contemporary forensic artist mystery!



and



LOYALTY'S WEB by Joyce DiPastena
A 12th Century Historical Romance!





Wasn't I blessed to get all of these wonderful books - the eBooks and the print books? Now I just need more time to read!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Giveaway and Review of The Imposter's Daughter

Title: The Imposter’s Daughter, a True Memoir
Author: Laurie Sandell
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, a Hachette Book Group
Genre: Nonfiction Memoir
Page Count: 256

My Rating: 3.5

Buy Link: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780316033053.htm
Author Website: http://www.lauriesandell.com/

Blurb: Laurie Sandell grew up in awe (and sometimes in terror) of her larger-than-life father, who told jaw-dropping tales of a privileged childhood in Buenos Aires, academic triumphs, heroism during Vietnam, friendships with Kissinger and the Pope. As a young woman, Laurie unconsciously mirrors her dad, trying on several outsized personalities (Tokyo stripper, lesbian seductress, Ambien addict). Later, she lucks into the perfect job--interviewing celebrities for a top women's magazine. Growing up with her extraordinary father has given Laurie a knack for relating to the stars. But while researching an article on her dad's life, she makes an astonishing discovery: he's not the man he says he is--not even close. Now, Laurie begins to puzzle together three decades of lies and the splintered person that resulted from them--herself.

Review: This is a very unusual but interesting book. It is presented in graphic format – as cartoons - which made it a very fast read and more easily read than if it had been in normal print format. [To understand this format you can click on the "Browse inside this book" button on the picture above.]

Laurie struggled all her young life trying to do things perfectly to please her temperamental father. She is glad to escape to college but comes home to discover that her father has changed her room into an office and worse, copied her diary. The next problem she uncovers is a credit card in her name that was set up by her father. Things go down hill from there as she continues to discover that her father has told her lies all her life.

The tale Laurie presents of her life appears to be a journey to try to find self worth and acceptance. I imagine it was cathartic for her to write the book but it contains a bit too much information (“tmi”), including sexual details, for my taste. I did find the drifting into the Ambien addiction and the steps she finally took on her road to recovery interesting. This book would not be for everyone but if you are a person who has struggled with a tyrannical father or dealt with learning to accept yourself or overcoming an addiction, I think you would find this book appealing and entertaining.
[Content Warning – some of the cartoon graphics are explicit.]

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
Three copies of The Imposter's Daughter awarded!

1. Comment here telling me a fantasy person you have thought to be - like a dancer or writer or mercenary! Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win.
2. For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.
3. For another entry, blog or Twitter about this giveaway and tell me where you did.
4. For another entry, go to the author's website [link above] and tell me something of interest you found there.
5. Leave a separate comment for each entry or you'll only be entered once. (This method is used to make it easier to put the entries into the random generator!)
(Four total entries possible.)

  • This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
  • No P.O. Boxes Please - for shipping reasons.

This contest will close Midnight (Central) on September 18, 2009. The three winners (one book per winner) will be randomly selected from all entries.

A Big Thank You to Anna and Hachette Book Group who have graciously provided the books for this Giveaway!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Had a Winning Sweet Friday at CTR

Friday I posted a notice about The Sweetest Romance author chat being held at Coffee Time Romance. I visited and chatted with some lovely authors during the day. And I participated in several contests and a scavenger hunt! I had lots of fun and I won books from FIVE authors. The only author I had read already was Miss Mae so I am very much looking forward to reading the others!!

The three eBooks I won were:

DOVE ISLAND by Miss Mae - a very short sweet read. I have read two of Miss Mae's books, Said The Spider to the Fly (I rated it a Gotta read at YGR) and Its Elementary, My Dear Winifred (I rated it a Top Rating at BTL)
Miss Mae's Site






DREAMS DO COME TRUE by E.A. West

E. A. West's website





and LAB PARTNERS by Larry Hammersley
See Larry's books HERE



I'll show the two print books I won when they arrive!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mailbox Monday August 17, 2009


This Meme starts at The Printed Page



This past week I received the following books:


PRIMAL OBSESSION by Susan Vaughn
"Romantic Suspense Winner of More Than Magic Contest 2009"

I Won this at the end of July at Riding With The Top Down Blog



ONCE UPON A NIGHTMARE by Lee Moylan.
The author was very kind to write me when he heard I had picked this book at J. Kaye's Blog. He commented:
"I tried to depict a serial killers crimes with a cold, detached realism."

I Won this as a Top Contributor pick at J. Kaye's Book Blog





RAVENS
by George Dawes Green
I received the Audio CD for review at YGR.

What Are You Reading August 17, 2009

8/11
Finished reading:
PB: -----
Audible: -----
Kindle2:
  • DogSpell by Lizzie T. Leaf – A light fun read! Review posted at YGR
  • Beauty Tempts the Beast by Leslie Dicken – A sensual Beauty and the Beast with lots of mystery and secrets! Review to be posted Tuesday at Ecataromance.com.
  • Dove Island by Miss Mae – a very quick sweet read! (Won from the Friday CTR Chat!)
  • Lab Partners by Larry Hammersley – a short, lovely sweet story! (Also won from the Friday CTR Chat!)

Audio CD: -------

Currently reading:

PB: Can't Stand the Heat by Loiusa Edwards (ARC) – A very sassy fun read so far! Reviewing for Nancy Berland, Publicist.

Audible: Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen – Looks like another solid Romantic Suspense from IJ (although I haven’t gotten to the romance part yet!) My own TBR.

Kindle2:

  • Awakening Allaire by Margie Church – More erotic than I am accustomed to but nicely done and a great thriller story! Review to be posted on my blog later this week.
  • Maxwell’s Mansion by Donna McClaire – Contemporary. Reviewing for YGR.
  • Dreams Do Come True by E. A. West – Sweet Romance. (Another book I won from the Friday CTR Chat!)

Audio CD: Age of the Unthinkable by Joshua Cooper may go on hold while I read/listen to Ravens by George Dawes Green – just received to review for YGR.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Words of Encouragement 8/16/09

There are so many wonderful praise songs it is hard to pick just one! Here is a lovely reminder of Who is in control even when we don't understand!



BOW THE KNEE

There are moments on our journey following the Lord
Where God illumines ev’ry step we take.
There are times when circumstances make perfect sense to us,
As we try to understand each move He makes.
When the path grows dim and our questions have no answers, turn to Him.

Chorus:
*Bow the knee;
Trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee;
Lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the One who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan,
In the presence of the King, bow the knee.

There are days when clouds surround us, and the rain begins to fall,
The cold and lonely winds won’t cease to blow.
And there seems to be no reason for the suffering we feel;
We are tempted to believe God does not know.
When the storms arise, don’t forget we live by faith and not by sight.

*Bow the knee;
Trust the heart of your Father when the answer goes beyond what you can see.
Bow the knee;
Lift your eyes toward heaven and believe the One who holds eternity.
And when you don’t understand the purpose of His plan,
In the presence of the King, bow the knee.


A Verse for today:
Philippians 4:13 NIV
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Today I felt compelled to pray for the safety and health of children.
Also I prayed for some friends I know who are struggling with cancer.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Sweetest Authors Chat August 14, 2009!


The Sweetest Romance Authors are Chatting!


The Sweetest Romance Authors are chatting ALL DAY in the Latte Lounge on August 14th. Learn about your favorite authors, meet new ones, enter contests, win prizes, and have FUN!

Hope to see you THERE

Can't seem to get the link working so may have to copy and paste: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=1091

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Reminder to Enter First Giveaway - Ending 8/14


Just a quick reminder to enter the giveaway for Spinning Forward! It closes 8/14! Follow the link at the top of right hand side bar. Enter on the Giveaway page by commenting then comment at the review for extra entries!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mailbox Monday August 10, 2009


Well - I decided to go with Mailbox Monday after all!
This Meme starts at The Printed Page

And lest anyone think that this Meme is to boast about what I have "won" during the prior week, let me say that my purpose in posting is not for that reason. It is to encourage the authors whose books I have received, thank the other blog hosts or authors where I may have won a book and also thank the Publicists and Publishing houses who provide me with books to read and review!

Here are books I received last week!





For the Love of Pete by Julia Harper - exchange book with an online friend.


Tamed by The Laird by Amanda Scott - won at Romance Junkie Readers Yahoo Group

Thank you Cat and RJR.


HARDBALL by Sara Paretsky - A BOOK FOR REVIEW from Lydia at Penguin!

Thank you Lydia!


There's Only Been You and Meant to Be by Donna Marie Rogers! Won on the July 15 Meant to Be Blog Tour at Hywela Lyn's Blog Hywela Lyn's site

Thank you Donna Marie and Hywela Lyn!


I also won two eBooks:






Fire Eyes by Cheryl Pierson won on her First Giveaway last weekend!

Cheryl's Site Thanks Cheryl!













AND



Forever Faithful by Linda LaRoque from Angelica & Zi Hart at their guest blog on August 4 at
J. Kaye's Book Blog.
They plan to begin a Tuesday guest blog there starting August 18, 2009.
Thank you Angelica & Zi!






What Are You Reading August 10, 2009


If you want to join this meme go to: http://j-kaye-book-blog.blogspot.com/

Finished reading:

PB: -----
Audible: White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison (Hallows Book 7) - My TBR
Kindle2: Chasing Shadows by Lauren Hope - Review sent to YGR
Looking Through the Mist by Rebecca Vickery - Review sent to BTL/WRDF
Audio CD: -----

Currently reading:

PB: Can't Stand the Heat by Loiusa Edwards (ARC)- Reviewing for Nancy Berland, Publicist
Audible: Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen - My TBR
Kindle2: DogSpell by Lizzie T. Leaf - Reviewing for YGR
Beauty Tempts the Beast by Leslie Dicken - Reviewing for CR

Audio CD: Age of the Unthinkable by Joshua Cooper Ramo (thanks to JKaye Book Blog!) - Once I got past the first disc I started to find this very interesting! (I'll have to find another way to finish this since I had to leave my car home for brake work and the jeep I'm driving doesn't have a working CD player!)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Words of Encouragement

Today I want to share the praise song When I Think About the Lord.
This Video is not polished but I think signing praise songs can be beautiful. I hope you will enjoy it.



When I Think About the Lord
James Huey

When I think about the Lord
How He saved me, How he raised me
How He filled me with the Holy Ghost
How He healed me to the utter-most

When I think about the Lord
How He picked me up and turned me around
How He set my feet on solid ground

It makes me wanna shout,
"Hallelujah, thank you Jesus,
Lord you're worthy of all the glory,
And all the honor, and all the praise!"

***********************************

Verse for today is from the message that our guest missionary (a missionary to Muslems) shared:
Mark 16:15 NIV
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."
This morning I said prayers for healing for those suffering back pain, eye sight problems and hearing loss.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Review of Knight of Desire



Title: Knight of Desire
Author: Margaret Mallory
Publisher: Forever, Hachette Book Group
BUY KNIGHT OF DESIRE HERE

Rating: 4.0 of 5
Reviewed by: MarthaE


Blurb:

FEARLESS IN BATTLE

His surcoat still bloody from battle, William FitzAlan comes to claim the strategic borderlands granted to him by the king. One last prize awaits him at the castle gates: the lovely Lady Catherine Rayburn.

TENDER IN BED

Catherine risked everything to spy for the crown. Her reward? Her lands are declared forfeit and she is given this choice: marry FitzAlan or be taken to the Tower. Catherine agrees to give her handsome new husband her body, but she’s keeping secrets and dares not give him her heart. As passion ignites and danger closes in, Catherine and William must learn to trust in each other to save their marriage, their land, and their very lives.

REVIEW: This is a very wonderful and solid Historical Romance debut novel. I enjoyed this tale of intrigue and battle of wills.

Catherine is beautiful and resourceful. Although she didn’t kill him directly, Caroline’s spying resulted in the death of her brutal and cruel husband who was plotting against the King. However, she certainly didn’t expect to be forced to marry the man who defeated her husband in battle. And with her experiences she doesn’t trust any man, especially in the bedroom!

William FitzAlan is a truly honorable knight and not about to let a woman go to the Tower because of a traitorous husband. Once he meets the beautiful lady he is even more determined to marry her and get her into his bed. He just doesn’t think he will trust a woman who would plot against her own husband!

Catherine and William have plenty of issues jumping into this marriage! They also have a past that William recognizes but doesn’t catch the significance of till it’s pointed out to him and Catherine remembers but doesn’t connect to William. Add jealousy, betrayal and kidnapping and you will be plenty busy enjoying the battling romance and unraveling the intrigues!

I really like these two well developed characters. They are strong but vulnerable; smart in their areas (his war and hers the household and spying) but sort of slow dealing with each other! Neither wants to trust but someone is going to have to budge if they are going to make progress!
The betrayal seems easy to spot, although it could have been a red herring. Although the jealousy and betrayal by a trusted friend are not totally new plot lines, the author has added some extra elements that make the story different and interesting.

The reading flows well and moves quickly. I appreciate that the love scenes are sensual and sizzling without being graphic or offending in any way. I think this is a very good debut novel and I will want to read more in the series!

Enter the giveaway HERE


Earn Two Additional entries:


A. Comment here on the review.


B. Go to the Author's site here: Margaret Mallory Website
and tell me something you learn about her!

Giveaway - Knight of Desire


I am very excited to have my first Hachette Book Giveaway with Knight of Desire! There will be FIVE (5) Winners!!

(Isn't that a LOVELY Cover???!!)
TO ENTER:
1. Comment here telling me your favorite time period for Historical Romance novels. Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win.
2. For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.
3. For two additional entries, return to comment on the Review and answer the question I ask there. (Should be posted later on Saturday August 8, 2009.)
4. For another entry, blog about this giveaway and send me the link.
5. Leave a separate comment for each entry or you'll only be entered once. (This method is used to make it easier to put the entries into the random generator!)
(Five total entries possible.)
  • This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
  • No P.O. Boxes Please - for shipping reasons.
  • This contest will close Midnight (Central) on August 28, 2009. The winners will be randomly selected from all entries.
A Big Thank You to Anna and Hachette Book Group who have graciously offered the 5 copies of Knight of Desire for this Giveaway!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Bookshelves + Boxes!!

Well - good ol' J. Kaye asked us to take pictures of our book shelves! So here you go!

My Avatar is my main bookcase built by my very sweet DH!! (He had motive 'cause the boxes were weighing down our closest shelves!!)
These are my FAVORITE authors in alphabetical order... authors like (some but not all) Mary Balogh, Jill Barnett, Jo Beverly, Connie Brockway, Stella Cameron, Candace Camp, Liz Carlyle, Elaine Coffman, Catherine Coulter, Claire Delacroix, Jude Deveraux, Christina Dodd, Jane Feather, Julie Garwood, Jo Goodman, Madeline Hunter, Sabrina Jeffries, Iris Johansen, Lisa Kleypas, Laura Kinsale, Britina Krahn, Lynn Kurland, Stephanie Laurens, Edith Layton, Merline Lovelace, Cathy Maxwell, Linda Lael Miller, Julia Quinn, Patricia Rice, Jodi Thomas, Susan Wiggs, Gayle Wilson and others!


The next shelf is in our spare room - where the grandkids, neices and nephews have a brio wood train set to play with and a table in the corner for coloring, both of which I managed not to get in the picture!!

Top box is books I've won from authors and want to read and review.
Top Shelf left - books I bought at RWA in Orlando and I want to read and review! Books to the right I have won on various blog sites.
2nd Shelf - Books to the left are my Janet Evanovich books for the Challenge! The rest (middle and right) are mixed books that have to go into the correct author box!!
3rd Shelf - more mixed books to go into the correct box.
Bottom shelf - box on left is male mysteries: Michael Connelly, Jeff Deaver, Stuart Woods; Box in the middle is Linda Howard books; Box to the right is all Jayne Ann Krentz (also her aliases Amada Quick and Jayne Castle).

Bottom box left is Sandra Brown (I sent a bunch out to a friend since it will be a long time till I get to read them!). Basket is mixed I wanted to read but haven't gotten too. Box on right is mixed Romantic Suspense. Blue plastic basket is JoAnn Ross.

AND THEN WE HAVE BOXES!!
To the left two boxes all historical romances mixed by year and alphabetically - 1991 to 1999 and 2006 to 2008. Then a box of Christian books and a box of fantasy books.
Then boxes for Suzanne Brockman, Brenda Joyce, Mary Jo Putney, Kat Martin, Johanna Lindsey, Mary Higgins Clark, Tami Hoag, Judith Ivory, Amanda Scott, Ann Seymour. Then mixed boxes of mysteries and romance.
Not shown are about seven more boxes still in my closet! They contain: Nora Roberts, Joan Johnston, a box of Anthologies, a box of Christmas Anthologies, a box of 2000-2005 mixed historical, a box of women's fiction and another box of mixed mysteries. Ohh - and another four boxes in the bedroom corner: Heather Graham, a box of contemporaries and comedy romance and a box of favorites I had picked to read but haven't gotten too.
Now you can see why I really have to partcipate in that Random Reading Challenge! I haven't gotten to any of these books since I got the Kindle2 in May and started reviewing! OH YES - I also have about 50 pdfs either won or bought which are on my computer!!
Any one want to shout "OVERLOAD!!!" No wonder my DH grumbles about my books!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Two Spriral ARC Books

Here are two spiral books I received for review from Jeanne at Nancy Berland PR. Thanks Jeanne!

(I know - I need to practice to get better photos!)




The books are:
Spinning Forward by Terri Dulong --- Giveaway and review already posted!
and


Can't Stand the Heat by Louisa Edwards---- reading now!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Review of Spinning Forward (Plus Giveaway!)






Title: Spinning Forward
Author: Terri Dulong
Publisher: Kensington Books
Buy Link: Coming in October 2009
Rating: You GOTTA Read 5 stars!!
Reviewed by: MarthaE

Blurb: (From back of book) A New Englander born and bred, the last place Sydney Webster expects to find herself starting over is on an island off the coast of Florida. Yet here she is in Cedar Key, trying to pull herself together after her husband's untimely death—and the even more untimely revelation of his gambling addiction. Bereft of her comfortable suburban life, Syd takes shelter at a college pal’s bed and breakfast, where amidst the bougainvillea blossoms and the island's gentle rhythms, a plan begins to form…
Syd never considered the possibility of turning her passion for spinning and knitting into something more than a hobby, but when the unique composition of her wool draws attention, a door is opened—the first among many. Yet even as she ventures out of her comfort zone, Syd finds herself stepping into the embrace of a community rich with love, laughter, friendship...and secrets. And as long-hidden truths are revealed, Syd faces a choice: spin a safety net—or spin decidedly forward and never look back...

Review: I do not read a lot of women’s fiction but I am very glad I read this wonderful book! I would love to have a half dozen copies to give to family and friends!

Sydney has discovered that she is lost when her husband dies. As she learns the true extent of his gambling addiction she learns that even their house is gone in foreclosure. She discovers that not only did she never really know her husband but she doesn’t really know herself. She is feeling defeated by fear and doubt.

The story proceeds to follow Sydney through the next year as she grows from a depressed, abandoned, helpless woman to a joyful and assured business woman! Her business has a uniqueness that is charming – I have to check to see if they really do use that source for yarn!

The story includes a group of really wonderful secondary characters who are instrumental in their own ways in making Sydney face reality and find her own inner strength. There is best friend and B&B owner, Alison; determined and independent daughter Monica; sweet, helpful friend Dora; the very strange and eccentric elderly Sybile; and the elderly and oh so sweet Saren Ghetti! And of course a sexy male friend, Nick!

The setting is a beautiful place, Cedar Keys, in Florida but it is background to this character driven story. Although the story includes the male and female romantic relationship, with ups and downs, I found this to be a romance of spirit. This book celebrates life and a woman finding her own center and contentment. The writing is easy and flows. I did not want to stop reading and kept wanting to find out what would happen to Sydney next – what she would uncover or learn about others or herself. Will Sydney learn to fully soar? Read this wonderful book to find out!

**********************************
Enter the Giveaway for the ARC at FIRST GIVEAWAY


Don't forget to comment here at the review for 2 entries - one for commenting and the second if you mention another women's novel you have liked!

Monday, August 3, 2009

What are you Reading August 3, 2009


If you want to join this meme go to: http://j-kaye-book-blog.blogspot.com/

I had a good week this week on the Paperback and hard cover books!

Finished reading:

PB: Spinning Forward by Terri Dulong (ARC Giveaway posted!)

Knight of Desire by Margaret Mallory (Hachette Giveaway coming!)

The Imposter's Daughter (A True Memoir) by Laurie Sandell (Hachette Giveaway coming!)

Audible: ------
Kindle2: ------
Audio CD: -----

Currently reading:

PB: Can't Stand the Heat by Loiusa Edwards (ARC)


Audible: White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison (Hallows Book 7)- 3/4 done - I really like this series! (The book is 18 and a half hours so still going!)

Kindle2: Chasing Shadows by Lauren Hope - Hope to finish tonight! Then on to
Looking Through the Mist by Rebecca Vickery

Audio CD: Age of the Unthinkable by Joshua Cooper Ramo (thanks to JKaye Book Blog!) - Once I got past the first disc I started to find this very interesting! (I have a short commute so this one is still going too!)

MY FIRST GIVEAWAY CONTEST!!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED AUGUST 15, 2009.

I am excited to make this my first Giveaway! There will be more Giveaways coming up so keep a look out!




Giveaway of ARC of SPINNING FORWARD by Terri Dulong
Author's site: http://www.terridulong.com/index.htm

This is a debut novel and listed as "women's fiction" which is not something I read as often as other genres. I enjoyed this book so much that it is hard for me to give it away as I want to keep it! But I also want others to enjoy it too and it won't be released until October!

I will be posting my review tomorrow.

To enter the giveaway:
1. One entry: Please comment here telling me another debut novel you have read and enjoyed. Please leave your e-mail so I can contact you should you win!
2. Another entry: Become a Follower or tell me if you are already a follower
3. Two additional entries by commenting on the REVIEW HERE!


You may combine entries in one comment.

*open to residents of US and Canada (Sorry but I had to add this when I saw how expensive overseas mailing was. However! I am willing to chip in $3.00 bucks towards overseas postage if an overseas winner is willing to pay the rest! In which case an overseas person is welcome to enter the Giveaway! *G*)
*no P.O. Boxes


This contest will close Midnight (Central) on August 14, 2009.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries. I will e-mail the winner early on the 15th who will have 72 hours to respond. [I need time to mail out the book before I go on a cruise the end of the month! :)]

My Thoughts on Ratings

Let me start by saying I read and review for pleasure. I do not get paid (too bad *sigh*) except for value of the books that are sent to me for review. I am willing to invest my time in reading and reviewing because I truly enjoy it and I like to help encourage and promote authors!

I do not have an elaborate list of check marks for grading as I think that would diminish my enjoyment. I try to note things like settings, character development, plot uniqueness, author voice and general "feel" of the books I review. I have started making notes as I read because otherwise all of the thoughts would be in retrospect. I may not comment on all of those aspects in each review but at least those that strike me.

A reasonable and pretty common rating guide is the 1-5 scale. The 1-5 definitions below are compiled from several sites that I review for. The "in between" entries are my own vague degrees of liking based on my comparing the book to others I have read!

5 - very rare, extraordinary read; a TOP read or GOTTA read

4.25 - 4.75 - better than just a 4 and ranging towards a 5.

4 - a keeper; a FANTASTIC read or NEED to read

3.25-3.75 - better than just good but not quite reaching Need or 4.

3 - good read; MEMORABLE GOOD or WANT to read

2.25-2.75 - better than a Could read ranging up to want.

2 - has several problems; Entertaining or COULD read

1 - very poor read; Leave it on the Shelf

I often get offered a selection of books to review so I am likely to pick in the genres I like and from blurbs I like. Even when I am assigned books, the moderator will have an idea as to my preferences so I am usually going to get books I expect to like.

Any book that gets rated 3 or up is a good solid read! Some will just grab me more than others! I expect I will have a lot in the 4-5 range and a few 3s and a few 5s. I will try to say what I did like as well as comment on specifics I did not like.


If I have a book that falls anywhere in the 2-3 range I will try to be even more specific as to what I did not like about it. It may well be that it is a book that was not for me but it might be a great book for someone else! We all have different tastes and this is a matter of subjectives! My goal will always be to encourage an author with positive feedback and constructive criticism if I think appropriate. I will never bash a book as I would rather just say - "that one wasn't for me."


I doubt that I will have any 1 books for two reasons. First: If I get to pick the books I review it is unlikely that I will pick ones I don't expect to enjoy and that I can't find something redeeming in. Second: If a book made it to publication, it indicates that someone out there liked it so it wouldn't be "left on the shelf" for everyone. BUT I will be honest and say if I ever cannot finish a book or had to force myself to finish. That hasn't happened since I have been reviewing but it has happened maybe three times I can recall over the past several years.


So this is my story on ratings and I'm sticking to it... for now anyway! :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Words of Encouragement

I am reminded every Sunday morning of God's power and grace! I have decided to share a song and verse for encouragement on Sundays.

Today's song is Made Me Glad - You are My Shield by Hillsong United. This particular Video has the embedding disabled but I hope you will check out the url or you can scroll to the bottom of my blog and play the clip!

I will bless the Lord forever,
And I will trust Him at all times.
He has delivered me from all things,
And He has set my feet upon the Rock.
I will not be moved, and I'll say of the Lord:


You are my Shield, my Strength, my Portion,
Deliverer, my Shelter, Strong Tower,
my very present help in time of need.


Whom have I in Heaven but you.
There's no one I desire beside You.
You have made me glad, and I'll say of the Lord:


You are my Shield, my Strength, my Portion,
Deliverer, my Shelter, Strong Tower,
my very present help in time of need.
**********************************
The verse is from our Pastor's message "God's Promises" and it is one of my favorite:

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

This morning I prayed for several online and church friends who are suffering with back pain. You know who you are, but more importantly, God knows who you are and He knows your needs. Be encouraged!

2009-10 Random Reading Challenge



I think I really need this challenge to help me read some of my own TBR books!

Caribou's Mom says:
Are you stuck in a rut? Do you always find yourself reading from set lists or feeling committed to reading one book while another book screams at you from your TBR mountain? Has your reading become completely scheduled? If so, the Random Reading Challenge may be just the thing to put the spontaneity back into your reading.
For this challenge, readers will be choosing books randomly from their TBR stacks.

For full details and to sign up go here:

http://www.caribousmom.com/2009/07/22/random-reading-challenge/#comments

I was thinking about doing level II for 9 books but I have decided that I should shoot for the full 12! After all - that is only one a month!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Mailbox Week of July 27 2009

I still haven't found a meme for a Mail Box on Friday or Saturday! I want to do it at the end of the week since I already have What are you Reading on Monday. Well - for now I will be a nonconformist!



Here are books I got this past week!








This is the TJ Bennett RITA Tote #10!! Wonderful books including Susan Wiggs Audio Book, Snowfall at Willow Lake!

Thank you again TJ!

And below is Prime Time which I won from Hank Phillipi Ryan visiting at Romance B(u)y the Book:

Thank you Bellas, Hank and Michelle!









and Love at First Flight by Marie Force from J. Kaye's Book Blog July Giveaways!
Thank you Marie and J. Kaye!!
Not sure when I will squeeze these books in between review books but I will!

My July Reading List

Martha's Reading July 2009 Books 95-108
Ratings 1-5

MBS (Martha’s Bookshelf) reviews posted at:
http://marthasbookshelf.blogspot.com/

YGR (You Gotta Read Reviews) reviews posted at: http://yougottareadreviews.blogspot.com/search/label/MarthaE

BTL (Between the Lines Reviews - WRDF) reviews posted at:
http://blog.lyndacoker.net/ (put title in quick search)

95. Stella by Colin Galbraith (eBook short) Thriller 3.75 YGR
96. No Greater Love by K. Bruce Justice (eBook short) Paranormal 3.75 YGR
97. Embrace the Night by Karen Chance (Cassandra Palmer # 3) (Audible) Paranormal 4.0
98. Never Seduce A Scoundrel by Sabrina Jeffries (Heiresses Book #1) Historical Romance 4.0 YGR
99. Children of the Mist by Hywela Lynn (eBook) SciFi 4.5 YGR
100. Dancing in Time by Violet Rightmire (eBook) Paranormal -Time Travel 4.5 YGR
101. Don’t Bargain with the Devil by Sabrina Jeffries (Heiresses Book #5) Historical Romance 5.0 YGR
102. March Upcountry by David Weber and John Ringo (Audible) Sci Fi 4.25
103. Eternally His by Carol North (eBook) Paranormal – Ghost 4.5 YGR
104. Blind Fortune by Joanna Waugh Historical Romance 4.75 MBS
105. The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison (The Hallows #6) (Audible) Paranormal 4.0
106. Night Waves by Wendy Davy (eBook) Inspirational Romantic Suspense 4.5 YGR
107. Waiting for An Eclipse Book 2 of Wounded Warriors Series by Karen Wiesner (eBook) Contemporary Romance 4.75 YGR
108. Spinning Forward by Terri Dulong (ARC) Women’s Fiction 5 soon to be posted at YGR

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