Contact email: mesreads AT gmail.com
###Winner Announcement Posts are linked here.###

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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Favorite Reads Giveaway Hop June 1-6 Open Worldwide

WELCOME TO MY FAVORITE READS GIVEAWAY HOP!
I love my followers and wish you could all win. :-) 

Thank you to the hosts: the fabulous Kathy at I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Rachelle Writes.


The hop runs from June 1st through midnight Wednesday, June 6th.

I ran out of time to set up a fancy sort of post. I want to encourage YOU to read some of my favorite books and authors, my giveaway will be for two winners who will get to pick any book(s), up to $15.00 total value, from the following group of TWELVE AUTHORS who are among my favorites although not my only favorites. The winners are not limited to the books listed here as 1-8. These are just links to my 4.75 and 5.0 reviews so far this year (out of 77 completed books):
  1. Book Review: Deeper Water by Robert Whitlow; Christian Mystery; my rating 4.75.
  2. Book Review: The Theft of Swords by Michael Sullivan; Fantasy Adventure; my rating 4.75. 
  3. Silver Borne: Mercy Thompson, Book 5 by Patricia Briggs; Paranormal Romance; my rating: 4.75.
  4. Book Review: The Night is Mine by M.L. Buchman; Military, Romantic Suspense; my rating 4.75. 
  5. Book Review: Kicking Ashe by Pauline Baird Jones; Sci Fi Romance;  my rating 5.0.
  6. Book Review: Love to Water My Soul by Jane Kirkpatrick; Historical Fiction, Inspirational;  my rating 5.0.
  7.  Book Review: Rise of Empire (Riyria Revelations) by Michael J. Sullivan; Fantasy; my rating 5.0.
  8. Book Review: Dangerous Favors by Joyce DiPastina; Historical Romance; my rating 4.75.
OR these additional authors: 

OPEN WORLDWIDE: My Giveaway is for ANYONE who can get books from Amazon, Indie Presses, OR Book Depository. OR if Book Depository doesn't ship to you then I will do a PayPal or other gift card for that winner.  So hopefully this really does include EVERYONE.

There will be two winners; book value(s) up to $15.00 each winner.

The book(s) can be any format: ebook, hardback, paperback or even audio for a total value of $15.00.

Rule #1 - You must be a follower of my blog in some form.
Rule #2 - ENTER USING THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM!
Giveaway closes 12:01 AM Eastern on June 7.  Winners to be chosen through the Rafflecopter system.
a Rafflecopter giveaway GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN HOPPING! 

Announcement: Sourcebooks Wants to Visit All Around the World with Austen

It's not too late to vacation with "Jane" and enter to win prizes sponsored by Sourcebooks.
Hi there!

In the June memoir, All Roads Lead to Austen the author Amy Elizabeth Smith took Jane Austen’s works along with her as she traveled to foreign countries. Her goal was to see if the magic of Jane Austen could hold its power across borders, languages and cultures.

Amy took Jane to far off countries – and we need your help to take her even further! We are holding a contest called All Around the World with Jane! Join us on our Austen love fest by printing out our Jane Austen “flat Stanley.” Take pictures of yourself with Jane in your hometown or on your vacation, and submit it from April 30th – June 30th!

We will award the following prizes to the individuals with the most creative picture:

1 Grand Prize Winner will receive:
  • An E-reader with all of our available Austen sequels/continuations downloaded on to it
  • A signed copy of All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith
  • A Skype session with Amy Elizabeth Smith
3 Second Place Winner will receive:
  • A signed copy of All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith
  • A choice of 5 Jane Austen sequels/continuations from Sourcebooks
5 Third Place Winners will receive:
  • A signed copy of All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith

You can then submit your pictures on the All Around the World with Jane Facebook page or email your submission to landmark@sourcebookspr.com.

Below are some examples of where Jane has been already (Times Square, The Jane Austen Centre in Bath, and the Sourcebooks offices!) along with the flat Stanley that you can print off (also available on the Facebook page). 

Please share this with your followers and friends! Sourcebooks want to see Jane go as many places as possible!

Thank you!




Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Audio Book Review: Phantom Universe (Summer Chronicles #1) by Laura Kreitzer

This is a really engaging story and good audio. I'm ready for the next one!
Although I loved this on audio, if you hurry you may be able to pick it up for free on Kindle!
Genre: YA, Sci Fi, Dystopia
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Blurb from Audible.com:
Sold into slavery to pirates at the young age of four, Summer learns to survive the rough seas of subterfuge and thieves through silence. When the boat she's lived on most of her life is destroyed, Summer finds herself washed up on the shore of a new world, a phantom universe full of the bizarre and extraordinary. She meets Gage, the one boy who understands the girl with no speech. But when their lives are put on the line, will Summer finally call out? Or will all be lost in the fathomless depth of silence?


Review:
This story is told through bounces in time through Summer’s memories from age 4 to the current at age 16. This technique is fitting since the story centers around a time displacement. Even though this was on audio I didn’t have trouble following the time flashes once I knew that was how the past was being revealed.

When Summer was four she was stolen from her mother by human traffickers. Before being sold into slavery to pirates Summer was beaten into silence, learning that she was less likely to be beaten if she never spoke. She has not touched land nor spoken since.  Although she has struggled with the chores on deck and as the cook, at age twelve she found a protector and best friend in Landon. He has helped her in the ship's galley while guarding her from the worst of the leering crew. 

Now Summer  is sixteen and a childhood friend, Jaden, arrives on board with a team that is seeking to retrieve Summer because she has a power that they need to control. Jaden helps Summer and Landon to escape from the ship but when they awaken on shore they learn that they are 200 years in the future. 

The world they find themselves in considers them "outlanders". The League of Canadian Federation, under its dictatorial president, is putting the outlanders in camps and it looks like they may starve (or worse) those who can’t be trained and assimilated into the current culture. Summer and her friends are the outcasts even among the outlanders. The outlanders in the camp where Summer is sent seem to be mostly teens and are part of 200 million people who have been transported from 2010 to 2210.  Somehow Summer is the catalyst that unknowingly impacted the timeline.  One of the League authority “cops”, Gage, who found Jaden and Summer, has taken an instant liking to the nearly starved waif. He determines to find a way to protect her not only from the dangers of the camp but from the Clock Society who wants to capture her to either use her or destroy her.

Ms. Kreitzer has combined a wonderfully imaginative future world with some hard issues such as muteness, human trafficking and societal oppression. All of that is woven into a page-turning plot. The characters are nicely developed, especially Summer’s strength, bravery, fears and vulnerabilities. Through the story it is interesting to see the ways Summer learns to communicate. There is a strong, platonic relationship with her protector, Landon, and a new, powerful but frightening romance connection with Gage. The action moves along at a good positive pace. Near the end of this book certain secrets are revealed and a new character, Julian, is introduced. I am ready to follow the characters and their struggles in the next book in the series.  

The story flows easily and the narration is distinct and crisp. The narrator, Karen Savage, has a wonderful accent and uses different voices to distinguish the characters. I particularly liked her expressive reading that portrays the emotions and excitement of the action. It was hard for me to pause the MP3 as I wanted to keep listening. I am sure the story would be good reading but I really liked listening to it.

I will seek out more by this author and narrator. If you liked the Hunger Game series, Divergent and/or Inside Out I think this fits with that category of engaging read.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Summer gets a small revenge through cooking with hot peppers when a crew member destroys her treasured journal.
There is something about being insanely infuriated that makes one forget the consequences of their actions, luring them to commit to and conquer in blinding rage.

Audiobook Jukebox

Thank you to Revolution Publishing and Audiobook Jukebox for the opportunity to review this Audiobook.
The setting is primarily Canada with some mention and visits to New York. I will add this to my ARC, New Author, Audio and Dystopia challenges.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review and ARC Giveaway: Under Fire by Catherine Mann

Ms. Mann writes an adrenaline punched, action packed, romantic suspense.


  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Original edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402245017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402245015
Available in ebook formats as well as print.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Book Description
Publication Date: May 1, 2012 | Series: Elite Force: That Others May Live

"Riveting action, to–die–for heroes!"—Suzanne Brockman, New York Times Bestselling Author of Night Watch

No Holds Barred, In Love or War...

A decorated hero, pararescueman Liam McCabe lives to serve. Six months ago, her and Rachel Flores met in the horrific aftermath of an earthquake in the Bahamas. They were tempted by an explosive attraction, but then they parted ways. Still, Liam has thought about Rachel every day—and night—since.

Now, after ignoring all his phone calls for six month, Rachel has turned up on base with a wild story about a high–ranking military traitor. She claims no one but Liam can help her—and she won't trust anyone else.

With nothing but her word and the testimony of a discharged military cop to go on, Liam would be insane to risk his career—even his life— to help a woman who left him in the dust.

"Catherine Mann is one of the hottest rising stars around!"—Lori Foster, New York Times Bestselling Author of Savor the Danger

Review:
We met Rachel and Liam in Hot Zone where they worked together during an Earthquake rescue operation in the Bahamas. The attraction and pull between them was instant but they resisted the urge to act on it. Rachel didn’t return any of Liam’s calls or emails for six months but suddenly she shows up hidden in his car and the action heats up.

Rachel is a compassionate and dedicated search and rescue worker with her trained dog.  She has taken time off from the stress of field work to train therapy dogs for service men who are suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). While Rachel works with Lieutenant Brandon Harris he tells her about a traitorous conspiracy to sell military secrets that would endanger many operatives.  Brandon has tried to report the threat to various police and military authorities but everyone has brushed him off as crazy because of his illness.

Rachel believes Brandon and seeks help from the only military officer she is willing to trust - the sexy and attractive Liam McCabe. Liam is thrilled to see her but not even he fully believes her until someone tries to ram them off the road using Rachel’s own car which they had left on base.

Someone is blocking the investigation and out to silence Brandon and Rachel. Liam and Rachel slip away from the safe house to seek protection on their own and to retrieve Brandon and the information he has.

Liam is an intense Pararescueman leader. He loves women and marries them. With three divorces behind him he knows his record for a successful relationship doesn’t look good. But the chemistry with Rachel is sizzling and this is the only woman he has wanted for six months since he met her. Can he overcome his fear of failure to seek a relationship with her? Rachel has her own fears, having lost her first young love in the service. She walked away from Liam before but she can’t resist the desire this time. Can she take a risk to be with Liam for more than a one night adrenaline release?

Both the action and the chemistry zings in this story.  Liam is intent on keeping Rachel safe even as she is determined to show him that she can hold her own. There is steamy and intense passion intertwined with the emotional personal conflicts. There is also some heavy romance for Brandon as the story progresses.

I loved the fast paced action scenes and was concerned that the action was almost overwhelmed by the romance.  By the end of the book I felt that the action and romance had balanced out all right. Ms. Mann seems to have a wonderful grasp of the military terms and hierarchy to support her story. Her characters are intense and likeable.  There were some elements that I questioned for realism but still it is a very entertaining read. It is not necessary to have read the prior book as the back-story is filled in nicely. However the prior stories (click here for prior series reviews) are wonderfully suspenseful too.  If you like a steamy romantic suspense, this book and author are a grand choice.

Their thoughts towards each other:
Liam:
She was everything he'd ever wanted in a woman. He may have fallen in love easily in the past, but d... if he could remember ever falling this hard.  Page 178.
Rachel:
She refused to cave. She had to fight to get her life back.
She had to be strong enough to be Liam's wingman. Page 182-183.

The ARC copy was provided by Sourcebooks for an honest review.
This story is set for a good part in the Florida Everglades for my Where are you Reading Challenge. I will also add it to my ARC list.

TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for the ARC Copy:
1. Share a favorite feature of romantic suspense, OR why you like to read romantic suspense.  This is required for entry.

2.  For an extra entry, become a follower on any media (GFC, Twitter @MSEREADS, Facebook fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/ReviewsByMarthasBookshelf , Goodreads or Linky - links on right sidebar) or tell me if you are already a follower.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Two total entries possible.)

* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on June 8, 2012.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
The WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on June 9. 
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Three Kindle Giveaways Ending this week and June Upcoming Hops

You only have a few more days to enter these three giveaways that include Kindles!

May 1 - Pump Up Your Books Tour for Unconquered - Month long giveaway for a Kindle!



May 8 - Pump Up Your Books Tour for Amazing Allergist - Month long giveaway for a Kindle!





These Giveaway Hops are coming up in June; both will have US/Can and International prizes:

June 1-June 6 My Favorite Reads




June 15 - June 20 Clean Your Shelf

We Remember - Freedom Is Not Free.

While we celebrate Memorial Day today, let us take time to remember and be thankful for those who have fought for our freedom.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mailbox Monday May 28, 2012

Welcome to Mailbox Monday which I am hosting for May 2012. Thanks everyone for linking and visiting this month - it's been fun to host.
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) but is now hosted at Mailbox Monday and through various blog hosts.

FOR JUNE: the Mailbox Monday Tour host will be Sassy Brit at Alternate-Read.com  [http://tjbook-list.blogspot.com]

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


My book garden is steadily growing! How about yours?

Review Titles

I received one print review book:
The Claimed by Caridad Pineiro
Review and Author Interview for Pump Up Your Book Tours on June 12, 2012. 

Thank you to author Caridad Pineiro.

I received Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione from Hachette.
I will review this in June.


 Wins

I also received.this print book that I won the "Motherload" at The Mother's Day Book Giveaway hosted by Quickie Book Reviews!!
In Search of Lucy by Lia Fairchild
Thank you Lia!!

Purchased

I did purchase some Audible titles on sale at the beginning of the week; it is hard for me to resist Audible sales! Plus I had a $10.00 credit. These are the four I picked up this week:


Touch of Power
by Maria V. Snyder... a favorite author.



The Way of Shadows: Night Angel Trilogy, Book 1
by Brent Weeks
I listened to the prequel and wanted to listen to more.



by Taylor Anderson
I already have Book 3 in my Library so I picked up Book 4 on sale. :-)


AND


by Rhys Bowen
This had good ratings and looked like one I would like.




 Free
I also picked up too many free Kindle books to list.  Does anyone else have a ridiculously huge Kindle TBR?  I'm hoping to start reading two of these a month to start a small indent.

Your turn! Please share: what's in Your Mailbox?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? May 28, 2012

This meme starts at Book Journey!

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 surprisingly good week, finishing four books and getting well into two more. I posted four book reviews, two with Giveaways, and posted two announcements.  I also posted the regular Friday Pick Giveaway, Saturday Sharing Beyond Books Comment Giveaway and Sunday Words. 

I visited a handful of blogs last week for What are you reading and Mailbox Monday. I haven't figured out why I don't get to visit past Sunday and Monday. Thank you to the nice people who visited me.

These were last week's posts plus Winner post not listed.
  • Audible Book Review: River Marked by Patricia Briggs; Urban Fantasy; my rating 4.5.
  • Book Review: Dangerous Favors by Joyce DiPastina; Historical Romance; my rating 4.75.
  • Book Review with Review Giveaway: Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis; Contemporary Romance; my rating 4.25; Ends June 1.
  • Book Review and Giveaway: Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy; Christian, Historical Romance, Comedy;  my rating 4.25.
Finished Reading:
1. ebook/Kindle
 

by Joyce DiPastena
This was lovely.
The review is linked above.




2. Print
 

by Jill Shalvis
Fun read. The review and Giveaway are linked above.




3. Print
 

by Mary Connealy
This is a fun historical, Christian read.
The review and Giveaway are linked above.
Product Description
Let yourself be swept away by this fast-paced romance, featuring Grace Calhoun, an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic, who, in an attempt to escape the clutchs of a relentless pursuer, runs smack dab into even more trouble with the 6R's - widower Daniel Reeves, along with his five rowdy sons. When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair - two people who couldn't dislike each other more - an avalanche isn't the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process?


4.  Audio MP3
 

by Laura Kreitzer
Narrated by Karen Savage
I really liked this! It reminds me of Hunger Games and Divergent.  I will be posting the review this week. Reviewing for Revolution Publishing through AudioJukebox.



Line Edits/Releases: Nothing uploaded this week but a Galley is out as well at least one, maybe two prints ready to go live maybe this week.


Currently reading:

1. Print



by Rebecca Land Soodak
I am not quite two thirds in this.
Interesting but not a fast read.
Reviewing for Hachette.
Book Description
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
..... Click on title link for full description.

Kara's narration, at turns heartbreaking and hilarious, captures the imperfect thoughts we have about ourselves and those around us. Rebecca Land Soodak's debut novel asks the difficult questions about the choices we make while revealing the minute details that end up defining our lives.


2. Print/Kindle
 

by Catherine Mann
Good romantic suspense! I like this author. Review and ARC giveaway to post this week.
Reviewing for Sourcebooks.
Book Description
Publication Date: May 1, 2012 | Series: Elite Force: That Others May Live

"Riveting action, to–die–for heroes!"—Suzanne Brockman, New York Times Bestselling Author of Night Watch

No Holds Barred, In Love or War...

A decorated hero, pararescueman Liam McCabe lives to serve. Six months ago, her and Rachel Flores met in the horrific aftermath of an earthquake in the Bahamas. They were tempted by an explosive attraction, but then they parted ways. Still, Liam has thought about Rachel every day—and night—since.

Now, after ignoring all his phone calls for six month, Rachel has turned up on base with a wild story about a high–ranking military traitor. She claims no one but Liam can help her—and she won't trust anyone else.

With nothing but her word and the testimony of a discharged military cop to go on, Liam would be insane to risk his career—even his life— to help a woman who left him in the dust.

"Catherine Mann is one of the hottest rising stars around!"—Lori Foster, New York Times Bestselling Author of Savor the Danger


3. Audio
 
Wired Kingdom
 This is an interesting thriller.
Reviewing for Variance LLC through AudioJukebox.
Publisher's Summary
When a blue whale tagged with a web-cam designed with stolen defense technology broadcasts a brutal murder at sea as part of a television nature program, Special Agent Tara Shores finds herself navigating an ocean of manipulation and deceit. It's a deadly race to reach the 100-ton creature roaming the Pacific before an unknown killer can destroy the digital evidence it carries. As Shores dives deeper into the case, what she initially dismisses as a publicity stunt for the glitzy reality series soon sweeps her out to sea in a riptide of greed, intrigue, and high-tech crime. 



4.eBook/Kindle
 
by Karen Wiesner
I will start this one next. Reading for the author.
(Book Description from Amazon)
Publication Date: April 6, 2010
Falling in love will take letting go of their fears. That, or a miracle…
Nuggets of faith can be passed down as family heirlooms from parent to child, sibling to sibling, spouse to spouse.

Family Heirloom, Book Three – Healing
A year after he lost his beloved wife, Peter Samuels still struggles with overwhelming grief. As the sole caretaker of growing children, the first anniversary of her death hits especially hard as he faces the world without a partner.
There is only one man for Kimberly Wolfe. Her boss, Peter. But he’s taken. First, by a marriage she envied from afar. Now by his grief. However, she’s used to the idea that happily-ever-after may never happen, not with a childhood haunted by a domineering father who used the Bible to justify his God-given place as the head of their household. A father who still refuses to repent for the wrong he’s done. Kim has tried, but forgiveness comes hard when trust is in short supply.
An innocent kiss on New Year’s leads to a growing awareness—of each other, and of the gaping holes in their lives that only love can fill. But before they can take the first steps on the road to healing, first they have to build a bridge…



I am again listening to The Listener's Bible NIV read by Max McLean. 
[Reading and listening on my new MP3.]
Instead of studying with the Tyndall One Year Bible this year I am studying with Through the Bible in One Year by Alan B. Stringfellow. It is a Study that I used for teaching back in around 1989 so I will enjoy it again. This week's reading is Daniel.

Line Edits: Working on finishing another line edit; making final adjusts on book conversions to upload to Kindle/Smashwords.


I brought a couple of April books into May to finish which gave me 11 or so books scheduled to read for review in May. --Fourteen completed; 4 this week; done for May. :-)
Don't miss the THREE KINDLE GIVEAWAY EVENTS posted this month and noted in the Tour box on the right sidebar.

May Scheduled Events:

Unscheduled but Planned for April:

Hachette-
Henny on the Couch by Rebecca Land Soodak

Sourcebooks:
Under Fire (Elite Force: That Others May Live) by Catherine Mann

AudioJukebox
Wired Kingdom by Rick Chessler

Author Reviews:
Foolish Games (Book 3 of the Family Heirlooms Series) by Karen Wiesner

NetGalley
I have several chosen but not sure if they will make May reading.

[To be posted - I am setting these up for interview/feature days.
These were read and ready for reviews for Authors.
Quest for Magic by Jean Hart Stewart - Read; review to be posted with interview.
Seeing for the First Time (What You See is What You Get) and To See (What You See is What You Get) by Nicole Zoltack - Both Read; setting up author interview with reviews.]

Sunday Words of Encouragement May 27, 2012

This is Pentecost Sunday and we had a beautiful service filled with the presence of the Spirit. Pentecost celebrates the birth of the church when the Spirit filled the worshipers for the first time. It is fitting that Pentecost and Memorial Day may be celebrated together. Both are dedicated as a remembrance. 

Our Sunday School leader pointed out that in Revelations 3:1-6 God spoke to the church at Sardis. "I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God." (v.1-2).  All churches need to be careful to do more than go through the motions. We need to remember the power of the Spirit and allow Him to work within our hearts and lives.

This wasn't one of our songs this morning but I think it is beautifully fitting.

Verses for Today
Acts 2: 1-4 (New International Version)
The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

I pray that the Spirit will always help me to remember that God is my creator, my redeemer and my guide.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sharing Beyond Books #50 Comment Giveaway May 26, 2012

Welcome to SBB! It is so hard to realize that we are almost through five months of 2012 already.

Thank you to all those who commented last week.

Most of us are forgiving of minor errors in historical fiction but we don't want blatant errors and we are annoyed if we know there is an error. Also, we do want the story consistent to the era  :-)

I was pleasantly surprised that we all like vegetables! Asparagus is a favorite to 4 people and it would be my second fav too. Sarah's favorite is fiddleheads which I had to look up - it is a type of fern. I love learning new things! Abby didn't like brinjal which I also had to look up -  it is eggplant.
~~~~

The Winner from SBB #49 comments is: #9 Marianne. There are still 7 'love' books to pick from and 2 Christmas choices. Marianne please choose a book (or GC if international) from the remaining Love Books List for Giveaway, remaining Christmas Giveaway Books, OR pick from the ARC box and let me know your choice, your address and a choice of bookmarks by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #50 Questions

Q1.  Abby asks: Have you read any Asian books (Asian-influenced, Asian authored, about Asia)??
A:  I looked up Asia to learn that it includes 48 countries. I didn't realize that. The only book that I thought of by an Asian author or about Asia that I have read is a book I got at a book signing at a favorite bookstore in Jupiter.  The Purple Storm by Nicholas Tu which is the remarkable true story of a man who struggled for 15 years to escape from Vietnam.

Q2. My question this week:  How did you celebrate your graduation??
A: This seemed like a timely question. My mother took my sister and me on a Nassau cruise when we graduated from High School. My father took me on a trip when I graduated college. We went to the Super Bowl in LA and then went out to Hawaii to visit my sister who lived there at the time. When I graduated from law school I have to admit that I partied with a friend drinking Tequila. Oh that wild college past - I don't do that anymore. :-)

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 will draw from the suggestions I used the month before and that person will get a book choice or GC. I thank everyone for submitting questions but some of you others might want to get in a question or two as we have a few people submitting most of the questions so far.  Either way - it works for me. :-)  The question list is being replenished!  Thanks for sending in questions! 

Your turn to share:

1. Abby asks: Have you read any Asian books (Asian-influenced, Asian authored, about Asia)??

 
2. My question: How did you celebrate your graduation??
 
SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the remaining  Valentine and "Love" books or the remaining Christmas Giveaway Books - there are still about 9 books available to choose from. Also I have added the Review and ARC Box now.

SBB Rules: a) Must be a follower; 
b) Share a comment on any (or all) of the two/three 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 by Friday, June 1, 2012 at 10 PM central.

Book Review and Giveaway: Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy

This is a charming and delightful read. I would definitely read more by Mary Connealy.

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Barbour Publishing
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 1597899380
ISBN-13: 9781597899383
Series: Lassoed in Texas
Available in Kindle or Nook;
also available as part of the series trilogy in print or ebook.
Genre: Christian Romantic Comedy, Historical Romance
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0


Product Description
Let yourself be swept away by this fast-paced romance, featuring Grace Calhoun, an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic, who, in an attempt to escape the clutchs of a relentless pursuer, runs smack dab into even more trouble with the 6R's - widower Daniel Reeves, along with his five rowdy sons. When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair - two people who couldn't dislike each other more - an avalanche isn't the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process?

Review:
Grace was adopted as a four year old by Parrish, a man who beat and terrorized her and worked her as slave labor in the carpet mills of Chicago. Grace tried to protect her “sister”, Hannah, and the other little girls who were targeted by Parrish.  Grace finally escaped and on the way out of town was able to get Parrish arrested for theft.

Grace ended up as a teacher in a remote Texas town where she starves herself as she sends most of her money home to Hannah. Grace presents a prim and proper image trying to appear older than 16 and trying to control her students. Most of the children, especially the little girls, love her but the five impish Reeves boys won’t settle down. Her attempts to get their father to help control them go to no avail and finally there is a confrontation.

Grace is in despair but that is nothing to her fear when Parrish bursts into her barren room. Fleeing in the cold night Grace hides in a wagon and ends up frozen in the remote, barren home of the Reeves. Grace doesn’t want the bullish man and his 11 year old troublesome twins and 5 year old terrible triplets. And Daniel Reeves wants nothing to do with a prim, prissy woman, no matter how pretty, especially after he lost his wife to child birth. But the parson shows up and they stumble into marriage vows.

When an avalanche blocks the family into the canyon how will Grace manage to cope with the six Rs?

I loved Grace as a brave young woman who faced all obstacles by returning to her faith in a God who is ever faithful to us even when we are not faithful to Him. I also enjoyed the zany antics of the motherless boys, Abe (Abraham), Ike (Issac), Mark, Luke and John. The boys are hiding their longing for a mother’s love behind their rowdy exteriors. One of my book club mates pointed out that it was interesting that the personalities of the boys are similar to their Biblical namesakes. The Biblical messages that are shared are beautiful, powerful and flowed appropriately with the historical setting where the Bible was the primary source of reading material.

Ms. Connealy does a grand job of describing the settings and primitive cultural aspects befitting the 1867 west. The pacing in the beginning is just a little slow but once it hits the humor it is easy to settle in and the rest moves at a nice brisk pace. The writing has a good flow and balance between character development, plotline and description. This is a fine read for anyone who enjoys a Christian message wrapped in a fun story.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A sampling of quotes:
The parson sort of tricks them into marriage:
Grace quit listening to the parson as she considered what seemed to be going on in this cave this morning. Forget nervous horse: Try runaway train. This situation was definitely out of control... Page 53
Grace discussing God with John while they are blocked in the cave:
"God loves us especially when we don't deserve it, honey." Page 140
Daniel's thoughts on a playful Grace after she is dug out from the avalanche:
The snow had buried an overanxious prude. He'd dug up a little spitfire. Page 147

I picked this up at Christianbooks for $2.99 for our Church ladies' book club. Everyone enjoyed it! It is still available at that lovely discounted price!
This is set in Mosqueros, Texas for my Where Are You Reading Challenge. I will also add it to my New Author Challenge list.

TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for my Copy:
1. Visit the author's website and tell me something you found there of interest OR if you have read this author before tell me a title you liked and/or why you liked it. This is required for entry.

2.  For an extra entry, become a follower on any media (GFC, Twitter @MSEREADS, Facebook fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/ReviewsByMarthasBookshelf , Goodreads or Linky - links on right sidebar) or tell me if you are already a follower.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Two total entries possible.)

* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on June 1, 2012.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on June 2. 
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Author Hosts US Military Wives Contest!

4th Annual U.S. Military Wives Contest—Open for Entries!

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1f6467dxJZk/T6hSyfuqcBI/AAAAAAAAA_0/BuABPVNgdW4/s320/Military+Wives+pic.jpgFor the past couple of years, as a special thank you to our service members and their families, I have held a contest just for Military Wives. It turned out to be an incredibly rewarding experience. I had the privilege of meeting several incredible women and their beautiful families. It's so easy to forget that there are real people who are deeply affected by the conflicts overseas. Hearing the personal stories of these families helped me remember that our troops are husbands, fathers, brothers and sons who are immensely loved and sorely missed.
This contest will run from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend but start sending those entries in now!

Who is eligible? Wives of any U.S. military service member may enter. Retired or active-duty.

How do you enter? Send an email to info@novelromance.net with a picture of you and your family member in uniform. Tell us a bit about what branch he serves in, where you've been stationed, challenges and so forth. We want to hear your story! Please put "4th Annual Military Families Contest" in the subject line.

Once a week, beginning Memorial Day weekend, I will pick one entrant to be highlighted on my blog. These weekly entrants are semi-finalists. Labor Day weekend I will select three winners.

Second Prize: A $25 Amazon Gift Card, Signed copies of Unleashed and Untouched

First Prize: A $50 Amazon Gift Card, and signed copies of Unleashed and Untouched

Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon Gift card and signed copies of Unleashed and Untouched

For more information about the contest and Sara Humphreys, please visit http://sarahumphreys.com/ and follow Sara on Twitter, @AuthorSara.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sara Humphreys has been attracted to the fantasies of science fiction, paranormal, and romance since her adolescence when she had a mad crush on Captain Kirk. An actress and public speaker, Sara lives in Bronxville, New York with her husband, who is very considerate of her double life, and four amazing boys. For more information about the contest and Sara Humphreys, please visit http://sarahumphreys.com/
 

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway May 25, 2012

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

Happy Friday folks. How is everyone this week? Do we have any graduates out there? I'm so glad you guys liked the sign from last week. I'm thinking about offering one for giveaway!

Thank you to all who entered May 18 Pick.  There were no Automatic winners this week :-( (those who requested the book four times and I did not note other people asking for that book during those weeks).
There were two picks blocked by multiple requests but one was won this week from a several week "face off." (Sorry Carol - I think I have a second copy to read and I will make myself a note that you are interested in it when I finish.)


CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from May 18 Pick:

mamabunny13 chose A Week in Winter
and
bn100 chose The Blue Zone

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 or sexy and I have a new supply of sweet bookmarks.


Congratulations Graduates; 
now you can go from text books to fun books!


New Book Group #28 May 18, 2012
*asterisks indicate lighter, smaller books suitable for international
Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts
Sleeping Arrangements by Madeline Wickham
Game Over by Fern Michaels
Forever Victoria by Dorothy Garlock
Sleeping Alone by Barbara Bretton
Gentle From the Night Meagan McKinney (spine creased)
In Too Deep by Tina Wainscott
Gabriel's Lady by Ana Seymor
Wildflower by Jill Marie Landis
*Love and Other Four Letter Words by Caroline Mackler
*The Carousel by Rosamund Pilcher
*Shades of Grace by Barbara Delinsky (audio tapes)
Nightshade by John Saul
The Heart of Justice by William L. Coughlin
Cross Country by James Patterson
Fresh Disasters by Stuart Woods


New book Group #27 April 13, 2012
Some of the books on the right end are smaller and suitable for overseas mailing. :-)
Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman
Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris (spine damage)
An Earl to Enchant by Amelia Grey (spine damage)
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
When Dreams Come True by Cathy Maxwell (slight spine wear)
A Week in Winter by Marcia Willett
Slow Heat by Erica Spindler
The Trouble with Joe by Emilie Richards
Midnight Hour by Debra Dixon
September Morning by Diana Palmer
Beneath the Surface by Annie White (slight spine wear)
The Amazing Mrs. Polifax by Dorothy Gilman
*The Dream Horse by Virginia Campbell Scott
*Summer's Belle by Paige Winship Dooly
*Not Looking for a Texas Man by Lass Small
*Ladies Start Your Engines


New book Group #26 March 2, 2012
These are Paired sets - two per author.
Four are parts of series the others are just singles by the same author.
Winners get both books if you pick these.


Nora Roberts
     Inner Harbor (#3 Cheasapeake Bay Series) and Blue Dahlia (SC) (#1 In the Garden Trilogy -(nice trilogy!)
Dick Francis
     Smokescreen (SC) and Field of Thirteen


New Group #25 January 12, 2012

*Smaller books on the right would be okay for most international mailing.

Leopards Kill by Jim DeFelice
Category 7 by Bill Evans and Marianna Jameson
Hell's Belle by Jane Holleman
*Prime Time by Sandra Brown  
*Out of the Blue (Allegheny Hopes) by Janice A. Thompson



New Group #24 Pick Books November 25, 2011
(The only Thanksgiving title I found is a Harlequin I'd like to read someday so no Thanksgiving titles for November.)

Green Calder Grass by Janet Dailey


New Group #23 Pick Books October 14, 2011
I tried to pick some books that would be good for October -
Halloween or dark minded.

Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser
Emily's Good Nightmare by Cosmic Debris Cosmic
Death Angel by Linda Howard


New Group #22 Pick Books September 2, 2011


Singles:
Tender Triumph by Judith McNaught

New Group #21 of Pick Books July 29, 2011
There are eight mysteries and I have asterisked nine books that are smaller and would be good for oversea choices if so desired.


* I. O. U by Pickard, Nancy (spine creased)
Stand by Me Anthology with Dallas Schulze, Roberta Leigh and Linda Randall Wisdom (spine creased)

May, 2011 New Group of Pick books
Group #20

Singles
Luciano's Luck by Jack Higgins - Audio Cassettes


3/25/11 I did get to set up a new group of books:
Group #19
Singles
Primary Colors - audio tapes
Note of Peril (black strip on cover)

2/19/11 Book Group #18- Pairs!
Not all of these are two from a series but several are. Each pick gets two books.
Patricia Cornwell Pair:

I have finally updated the intro and Entry paragraphs here:
If you saw the pictures posted of my bookshelves and boxes you know I do have lots of books! And that doesn't include the other eight or so boxes at my office!! And more books as I find deals too good to pass up! I am sharing my book bounty by these Friday Pick Giveaways. 

I started Friday Pick in November 27, 2009 and in two years I  posted 26 groups of 16 books to find new homes! (March 2012)

I have periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want! I am happy to say that so far about 358 books have found new homes! YAY. I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed.

Note rules here regarding international entries.
Because postage to overseas can be prohibitive I am willing to give a $5.00 book certificate to international winners - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, ARe, TWRP, ClassAct Books, eTreasures, Desert Breeze, etc....you tell me where and I'll set it up. So for my overseas visitors your comment may indicate a smaller book and I'll check postage or note your choice of gift card.
I learned that The Book Depository does not ship to everywhere. The postage for some of the books to far away places runs between $5.00 and $6.00 and up. Since I would award $5.00 for The Book Depository to an international winner, as an alternative you may choose a smaller book and we will hope the postage will not exceed $6.00. If the postage is more, or if you want to pick a larger book and you are willing to pay any extra postage beyond the $6.00 I will work with you on that. This may not make a difference to many but if it helps one or two of you to give one of my books a home that will make me happy too. :o)

TO ENTER:

Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists.
CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 10:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up past midnight to do the winner post!
I will randomly pick two winners to announce Friday mornings with the next Pick post.
Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times and I did not note other people asking for that book during those weeks.

WINNERS PLEASE CHECK THE WIN POST ON FRIDAYS AND fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me at mesreads@gmail.com. [I will confirm receipt of the addresses- well I realize I haven't always done this. But if you filled out the form and don't get the book within two weeks nudge me with an email please!] If I have the winners e-mail I will send a reminder in a week or so....

Thanks for helping these books find new homes!!

Repeating this helpful blog tip: You can right click on a link and you will be given the choice to open the link in a new window or tab so you do not navigate away from the screen you are on!! I use this all the time!

1/14/11 New List
#17
Moonfire by Judith Redman Robbins
Saving Faith by David Baldacci (Audio Book)

12/3/10 Book Set:
#16
Best Of Enemies by Taylor Smith
Sleight of Hand by Robin Hathaway
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

List #15---
List #14
Gospel Truths by J.G. Sandom

Here is set #13 of Used books!
Pearl Beyond Price by Claire Delacroix

This is a group of books I have had for several years but not gotten to read. Since it doesn't look like I will get to read them for another year (or more!) I am passing them on. Although as I type them part of me still says "But you may want to read that some day!" Yes, yes; along with the other 700 books I am housing! Must Let goooooo.....
Group #12
The Ripple Effect by Lynn Erickson

Group #11
Cat's Eyewitness by Rita Mae Brown
Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
Snow in April by Rosamunde Pilcher
Looking Back by Belva Plain
The Ring on Her Finger by Elizabeth Bevarly

List #1
Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo

Pick #2
The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross

Pick #3
One Eye Closed by Karen Whiddon

Pick #4
Talking God by Tony Kellerman
Everything to Gain by Barbara Taylor Bradford
The Sixth Sense
The Shadow by Shelley Munro (PA)

Pick #5
See Jane Lead by Lois P. Frankel
The Daddy Spell by Patti Ann Cole
Misfortune by Nancy Geary
Cold Hit by Linda Fairstein - Audio Tapes

Pick #6
Elusive Love by Catherine Lanigan

Pick #7
Prey by Michael Crichton - Audio Tape
Princess Charming by Jane Heller (slightly creased)

Pick #8
(sc) = slightly creased on binding otherwise all in good shape
The Jury by Steve Martini - Audio Tapes
No Safe Place by Richard North Patterson - Audio Tapes

Pick #9
Three Weddings and a Kiss - Anthology
On Treacherous Ground by Earl Murray
Guardian by Dee Henderson - Audio Tapes
Time to Hunt by Stephen Hunter - Audio Tapes

Pick #10
The Third Twin by Ken Follett (spine creased)
Dreams Gather by Kathryn Collins (sc)

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