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Friday, February 24, 2017

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway February 24, 2017

Happy Friday!
I had a rough beginning to this week with two nights of migranes; maybe a bug as I started feeling better after getting sick midday on Tuesday. I am feeling better now.
Our weather has continued to be nice all week.


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


CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 9:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up too late to do the winner post! I will randomly pick two winners to announce Friday mornings with the next Pick post.

Thank you to all who entered the February 17 Pick. There were THREE automatic wins this week. Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times without other people asking for that book during those weeks. There were no titles blocked.
RITA gets Someone to Love
SUE gets The Christmas Cowboy
DI gets The Devilish Pleasures of a Duke

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from February 17 Pick:
LINDA gets a GC
and
MYSTICA gets the GC

All winners please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me to confirm your win, send your snail mail address information and let me know if you would like bookmarks - sensual, sexy or sweet bookmarks. {The form is new because Google changed their forms and the old one wasn't letting me print out the responses.}



I think this fits me and books.
Image was found at Colt's Chat Zone.

New Book Group #70 January 27, 2017
Thought I’d share some romances for February:
PAIRS:
Betty Neels: The Girl With Green Eyes and the Damsel in Green
Linda Howard: The Touch of Fire and Loving Forever
SINGLES:
The Devilish Pleasures of a Duke by Jillian Hunter
Kissed by Shadows (Get Connected Romances) by Jane Feather
Love's Brazen Fire by Betina Krahn
Love Letters From a Duke (The Bachelor Chronicles Book 3) by Elizabeth Boyle
Love Wild and Fair by Bertrice Small
Only With Your Love (Vallerands Book 2) by Lisa Kleypas
Scandalous Love by Brenda Joyce
Someone to Love by Jude Deveraux
Valentine by Jane Feather
A Visit From Sir Nicholas (Effington Family Book 9) by Victoria Alexander
Winter Fire by Jo Beverly


New Book Group #69 November 18, 2016
(I'll post a picture and links later)
Some books for Christmas
Mistletoe Marriage by Jessica Hart

Jingle Bell Blessings by Bonnie K. Winn
Snowbound with Mr. Right by Judy Christenberry
The Christmas Cowboy by Michele Dunaway
All I Want for Christmas by Gina Wilkins

All She Wants for Christmas by Stacy Connelly


New Book Group #68 October 28, 2016
(I'll post a picture and links later)
SINGLE:
The Seventh Tower, Book One by Garth Nix
Plan of Attack by Dan Brown
Critical by Robin Cook


New Book Group #67 September 9, 2016

(*Three more very old books from my Gothics box.)
SINGLES:
*The Man in the Garden by Paule Mason (1969 - yellowed)


New Book Group #66 June 25, 2016
(I will post a picture later. *Four of these books are very old; pulled from a box of gothic novels I have had for many years. They may not be wanted by anyone and if so, I will donate elsewhere in time.)
SINGLES:
*Maggie – Her Marriage by Taylor Caldwell (1953 very old, yellowed pages, some stain damage doesn't effect reading)
Fire Dancer by Ann Maxwell


New Book Group #65 April 29, 2016
SINGLES:
The Champion by Heather Grothaus


New Book Group #64 March 4, 2016
SINGLES:
First Things First by Stephen R. Covey- Audio Cassette

New Book Group #63 January 22, 2016 -- All Gone

New Book Group #62 November 6, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #61 October 30, 2015

SINGLES:
Border Bride by Deborah Hale

New Book Group #60 September 18, 2015
A set of "haunting" tales and a few mysteries for October!

SINGLES:
The Shadowing by Joan Overfield
Trilogy Of Mysteries Audio Book Shadow Prey, There Was A Little Girl, Smokescreen Audio Cassettes (NOT CDs)

New Book Group #59 July 31, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #58 June 26, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #57 May 1, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #56 March 20, 2015
SINGLES:
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)

New Book Group #55 February 5, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #54 December 26, 2014 -- All Gone

BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty by Vickie Kennedy
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle


BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)

Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain


BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)

Thinner by Stephen King
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley -- NOTE This book has dog bite damage; it is missing half back cover and the edges of pages in the back third of the book... it does not effect the text but I will understand if no one wants this one
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
Anthology: Something Borrowed, Something Blue - this book has spine creases and minor water damage...I thought I had read it and liked it but now I realize it was another anthology I read with Elaine Barbier.


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

Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser

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

I started Friday Pick on November 27, 2009 and in almost seven years I have posted 68 groups of 16 (1,088) books to find new homes! (as of November 4, 2016).

I am happy to say that so far about 1,040+ books have found new homes! YAY. I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed. I periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want!

Note rules here regarding international entries.
Because postage to overseas can be prohibitive I am willing to give a $5.00 book certificate to international winners - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, ARe, TWRP, ClassAct Books, eTreasures, Desert Breeze, 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 $7.00 and $10.00 and up. Since I would award $5.00 for The Book Depository to an international winner, as an alternative you may choose a smaller book and we will hope the postage will not exceed $6.00. If the postage is more, or if you want to pick a larger book and you are willing to pay any extra postage beyond the $6.00 I will work with you on that. This may not make a difference to many but if it helps one or two of you to give one of my books a home that will make me happy too. :o)

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book Review: Someone to Hold (A Westcott Novel) by Mary Balogh

Ms Balogh succeeds once again with strong, natural characters in a different situation.
Someone to Hold (A Westcott Novel)
by Mary Balogh
File Size: 1774 KB
Print Length: 396 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451477804
Publisher: Berkley (February 7, 2017)
ASIN: B01H17U9E6
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


A reversal of fortune befalls a young woman in the latest Westcott novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Only a Kiss and Someone to Love.
Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune and a scandalous secret that will forever alter the lives of his family—sending one daughter on a journey of self-discovery...
With her parents’ marriage declared bigamous, Camille Westcott is now illegitimate and without a title. Looking to eschew the trappings of her old life, she leaves London to teach at the Bath orphanage where her newly discovered half-sister lived. But even as she settles in, she must sit for a portrait commissioned by her grandmother and endure an artist who riles her every nerve.
An art teacher at the orphanage that was once his home, Joel Cunningham has been hired to paint the portrait of the haughty new teacher. But as Camille poses for Joel, their mutual contempt soon turns to desire. And it is only the bond between them that will allow them to weather the rough storm that lies ahead...


Review:
Lady Camille is a young woman who was raised as an earl’s daughter; a young lady preparing to do her duty in life. She was not concerned about controlling her life nor seeking happiness. She was only concerned with being a perfect lady, to always do what was expected of her position; to marry a man suitable to her station and to fulfill her duties as the lady of the house. Her life is turned upside down when her father dies leaving his wealth to a daughter born before he married Camille’s mother. It would be one thing if that woman was illegitimate but instead it is discovered that the earl was previously married and the marriage to her mother was bigamous, making Camille, her brother, Harry, and sister, Abigail, the illegitimate children.

Their elder half-sister, Anna, offers to share the fortune she has inherited but Camille and her full siblings refuse. The money will not change their fallen place in society, nor the fact that Camille’s fiancé spurns her with utter disdain and disgust. Their mother retreats to her brother’s home while Camille and her sister move to Bath to live as mere Misses with their Grandmother.

Camille, feeling compelled to redefine herself, takes a job as a teacher at the very orphanage where Anna grew up. Camille has no real idea what she is doing but she also has no idea who she is anymore.

Joel is an artist who was raised at the orphanage and now comes twice a week to teach art to some of the students. Camille isn’t familiar with the ‘common’ man but she is drawn to this rustic man who presents a rough version of a gentleman.

Joel resents Camille’s attitude toward his childhood crush, Anna. Yet his respect for Camille grows as he watches her creative handling of the children while struggling to sort her own self-identity. Slowly Joel and Camille develop a friendship seeking comfort in the form of ‘someone to hold’.

This story started out a bit slowly with Camille as a character who was not so easy to like. Fortunately, her character grows as the story progresses. I loved her experiences learning to feel emotions – pain and love – and the possibility of finding happiness. I also enjoyed the twists that occur in Joel’s circumstances that add a good element of irony.

Ms. Balogh succeeds in making this a delightful read with her strong, natural characters in a new, different, situation. I enjoyed this second book in the series even though I had not read the first book, Someone to Love, which is Anna’s turnabout of fortunes. I am always comfortable recommending Mary Balogh books especially to those who enjoy historical romance with strong characters without graphic sex.

I received this title through NetGalley. It qualifies for my 2017 NetGalley Challenge.

Audible Book Review: Linesman by S. K. Dunstall

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, February 19, 2017

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


I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading now at The Book Date.
Thank you to Sheila for the years that she handled this meme.
Thank you to Kathryn for taking up the baton.
What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I am finally past the cold bug. I had a busy week with Heather away Thursday and Friday. Hubby and I got to have the grand kids (12, 9 and 6) over plus their two dogs so we had a full house Thursday through tonight. It was fun but tiring too.
Hubby feels better but is still tired a lot and fussing about wearing the LifeVest,
We had pretty pleasant weather all week.

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

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

These were last week's posts:

Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (NG)


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



2. Audible (AudaVoxx)


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



3. eBook/Kindle (NGTBR)


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



4. Audio (eStories)



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




Currently reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (Author)


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



2. Audio (ABJ)


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

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



3. eBook/Kindle (Author)


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


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

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


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


Welcome to Mailbox Monday.
Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday. Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and (yours truly). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

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

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

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


Won
NONE

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



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


Free

I only added 58 free Kindle titles to my library this week. Titles found linked through Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Words of Encouragement February 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, February 18, 2017

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Sharing Beyond Books #291 Comment Giveaway February 18, 2017

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.

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

~~~~~

The Winner from SBB #290 comments is: #2 CAROL L who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated ARC/Review titles or (not yet updated) Love titles - all linked near the end of the post. [I'm hoping to update the book choices - maybe the beginning of next year, lol.] Please let me know your choice by completing the WINNER FORM.

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

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

Thanks to those who are sending in Questions. DON'T BE SHY! Surely everyone has a Q or two you'd like to ask. Input suggestions in this Suggested Question Form. At the end of each month I draw from the suggestions I used during the month and that person will get a book choice or GC. I thank everyone for submitting questions. Thanks for sending in questions! The supply of questions is dwindling so share some if you think of any -- even if they are duplicates I'll weed through or try to modify.

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

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

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on the question above.
Open internationally and an international winner may get a smaller book or a $5.00 GC if I decide the mailing is too much.
I will pick a Comment winner from all comments made through Saturday February 25, 2017 at 5 PM central.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Review: Dawn Study (Study Series) by Maria V. Snyder

This is a wonderful continuation and conclusion to a great series!
Dawn Study (Study Series)
by Maria V. Snyder
File Size: 2483 KB
Print Length: 480 pages
Publisher: MIRA (February 1, 2017)
ASIN: B01HB7N984
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0


New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder brings her Poison Study series to its exhilarating conclusion.
Despite the odds, Yelena and Valek have forged an irrevocable bond—and a family—that transcends borders. Now, when their two homelands stand on the brink of war, they must fight with magic and cunning to thwart an Ixian plot to invade Sitia.
Yelena seeks to break the hold of the insidious Theobroma that destroys a person's resistance to magical persuasion. But the Cartel is determined to keep influential citizens and Sitian diplomats in thrall—and Yelena at bay. With every bounty hunter after her, Yelena is forced to make a dangerous deal.
With might and magic, Valek peels back the layers of betrayal surrounding the Commander. At its rotten core lies a powerful magician…and his latest discovery. The fate of all rests upon two unlikely weapons. One may turn the tide. The other could spell the end of everything.


Review:
Pregnant Yelena and Valek are struggling to find allies to help fight the Cartel headed by Bane. The Cartel have drugged the masses of magicians and Sitians, even the Sitian army, so they believe Bane’s lies that the Commander from Ixia is planning to attack. As if that isn’t enough to worry about, Yelena needs to stay hidden as the Mosquito and other assassins have been sent to kill her. Valek sneaks out to try to remove the Mosquito only to face his own assassination attack from Onora, who has taken Valek's place as the Commander's top assassin.

Yelena and Valek have relied on help and sanctuary from Fisk and his ‘guild’ of street informers. But Fisk and his young people become targets for the enemy too. Meanwhile, Yelena’s brother Leif, his wife Mara, and Yelena’s and Leif’s father, Esau, are sure that there is a specialty plant that Bane is planning to use to further his plans for control. Before they can get to the city they are surrounded and Leif is the only one to escape.

Ari and Janco have been off on a separate mission and they have uncovered news that will be helpful if they can get it safely to Yelena and Valek. They are all too ready to jump back into the thick of things even as the allies face one dangerous situation after another. It seems almost everyone is going to risk a turn at capture and several clever rescues are required before the group can put the big rescue plan in action.

It was a joy to have all the characters, including Valek’s siblings, share in the grand scheme to save Sitia. I loved having Kiki and the other horses as active characters even if Yelena couldn’t talk to Kiki because the baby was blocking her magic. The interaction and banter among the friends – an extended family – is delightful. I liked that the love and chemistry between Yelena and Valek is clearly shared without the need for graphic scenes. I was very much impressed with how well all the details were carried forward from the earlier books and wrapped up nicely.

This has been a wonderful series and, although I was pleased with the skill of this final installment, I am sorry to see the series close. It almost makes me want to go back to the beginning and start again!

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

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway February 17, 2017

Happy Friday!
We are finally feeling better - almost back to normal. Hubby sent me beautiful roses for Valentine's Day; I gave him chocolate covered strawberries - which I get to share of course!
Sorry to be late posting today. Our daughter and s-i-l went out of town to a wedding so we have the grandkids. Once we got them in bed we put out the lights so no computer time for me.
Our weather has been pretty nice all week... brisk but not too cold.
I sure hope everyone continues to stay safe through storms, flooding and fires.

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


CUT OFF TIME IS THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 9:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up too late to do the winner post! I will randomly pick two winners to announce Friday mornings with the next Pick post.

Thank you to all who entered the February 10 Pick. There was one automatic win this week. Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times without other people asking for that book during those weeks. There were no titles blocked.
BN100 gets The Brittany Stones

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from February 10 Pick:
FREDAMANS gets a GC
and
BECKY gets the Betty Neels Pair

All winners please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me to confirm your win, send your snail mail address information and let me know if you would like bookmarks - sensual, sexy or sweet bookmarks. {The form is new because Google changed their forms and the old one wasn't letting me print out the responses.}


I got to read to the girls last night. How about you?
Image was found at LitWorld.org.

New Book Group #70 January 27, 2017
Thought I’d share some romances for February:
PAIRS:
Betty Neels: The Girl With Green Eyes and the Damsel in Green
Linda Howard: The Touch of Fire and Loving Forever
SINGLES:
The Devilish Pleasures of a Duke by Jillian Hunter
Kissed by Shadows (Get Connected Romances) by Jane Feather
Love's Brazen Fire by Betina Krahn
Love Letters From a Duke (The Bachelor Chronicles Book 3) by Elizabeth Boyle
Love Overboard by Janet Evanovich
Love Wild and Fair by Bertrice Small
Only With Your Love (Vallerands Book 2) by Lisa Kleypas
Scandalous Love by Brenda Joyce
Someone to Love by Jude Deveraux
Valentine by Jane Feather
A Visit From Sir Nicholas (Effington Family Book 9) by Victoria Alexander
Winter Fire by Jo Beverly


New Book Group #69 November 18, 2016
(I'll post a picture and links later)
Some books for Christmas
Mistletoe Marriage by Jessica Hart
Twelfth Night Proposal by Karen Rose Smith
Jingle Bell Blessings by Bonnie K. Winn
Snowbound with Mr. Right by Judy Christenberry
Christmas With the Prince by Michelle Celmer
The Christmas Cowboy by Michele Dunaway
Christmas Bonus: Strings Attached by Susan Crosby
Wanted: Christmas Mommy by Judy Christenberry
One Cowboy One Christmas by Kathleen Eagle
All I Want for Christmas by Gina Wilkins
Mistletoe and Miracles by Marie Ferrarella
Her Montana Christmas by Arlene James
All She Wants for Christmas by Stacy Connelly
Miracle on Christmas Eve by Shirley Jump
Snowbound Reunion by Barbara McMahon
Holiday Homecoming by Mae Ann Wilson


New Book Group #68 October 28, 2016
(I'll post a picture and links later)
PAIR:
Lisa Gardner: The Perfect Husband and The Other Daughter
Stella Cameron: True Bliss and Sheer Pleasures
SINGLE:
Stray by A. N. Wilson (hardcover)
Soul of the Wildcat by Devyn Quinn
The Seventh Tower, Book One by Garth Nix
Plan of Attack by Dan Brown
Kill Chain by Meg Gardiner
Wild Rain by Christine Feehan
The Copper Beach by Maeve Binchy
Beyond Reach: A Novel (Grant County Book 6) by Karin Slaughter
Crimson Shore by Preston & Childs
The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry
Critical by Robin Cook
Mania by Craig Larsen

New Book Group #67 September 9, 2016

(*Three more very old books from my Gothics box.)
SINGLES:
*The Brittany Stones by Lynna Cooper (1974 - yellowed; corner of cover cut)
No Place for a Lady by Katherine Greyle
*The Man in the Garden by Paule Mason (1969 - yellowed)


New Book Group #66 June 25, 2016
(I will post a picture later. *Four of these books are very old; pulled from a box of gothic novels I have had for many years. They may not be wanted by anyone and if so, I will donate elsewhere in time.)
SINGLES:
*Maggie – Her Marriage by Taylor Caldwell (1953 very old, yellowed pages, some stain damage doesn't effect reading)
Fire Dancer by Ann Maxwell


New Book Group #65 April 29, 2016
SINGLES:
A Dangerous Fancy by Tracy Cozzens
The Champion by Heather Grothaus


New Book Group #64 March 4, 2016
SINGLES:
First Things First by Stephen R. Covey- Audio Cassette

New Book Group #63 January 22, 2016 -- All Gone

New Book Group #62 November 6, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #61 October 30, 2015
After I noticed the trend I went on a hunt for “bride” titles. I even pulled a couple from some of my long time collections(*). (But they are not getting read on my shelves.)
SINGLES:
Border Bride by Deborah Hale

New Book Group #60 September 18, 2015
A set of "haunting" tales and a few mysteries for October!

SINGLES:
The Shadowing by Joan Overfield
Trilogy Of Mysteries Audio Book Shadow Prey, There Was A Little Girl, Smokescreen Audio Cassettes (NOT CDs)

New Book Group #59 July 31, 2015 -- All Gone


New Book Group #58 June 26, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #57 May 1, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #56 March 20, 2015
SINGLES:
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)

New Book Group #55 February 5, 2015 -- All Gone

New Book Group #54 December 26, 2014 -- All Gone

BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty by Vickie Kennedy
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle


BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)

Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
Sweet Talking Man by Betina Krain


BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)

Thinner by Stephen King
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley -- NOTE This book has dog bite damage; it is missing half back cover and the edges of pages in the back third of the book... it does not effect the text but I will understand if no one wants this one
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
Anthology: Something Borrowed, Something Blue - this book has spine creases and minor water damage...I thought I had read it and liked it but now I realize it was another anthology I read with Elaine Barbier.


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

Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser

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

I started Friday Pick on November 27, 2009 and in almost seven years I have posted 68 groups of 16 (1,088) books to find new homes! (as of November 4, 2016).

I am happy to say that so far about 1,037+ books have found new homes! YAY. I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed. I periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want!

Note rules here regarding international entries.
Because postage to overseas can be prohibitive I am willing to give a $5.00 book certificate to international winners - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, ARe, TWRP, ClassAct Books, eTreasures, Desert Breeze, 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 $7.00 and $10.00 and up. Since I would award $5.00 for The Book Depository to an international winner, as an alternative you may choose a smaller book and we will hope the postage will not exceed $6.00. If the postage is more, or if you want to pick a larger book and you are willing to pay any extra postage beyond the $6.00 I will work with you on that. This may not make a difference to many but if it helps one or two of you to give one of my books a home that will make me happy too. :o)

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway: All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life

This is an inspiring and challenging book to help reshape and refocus the path of followers of Christ.
All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life
by Mark Batterson


Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Zondervan; Reprint edition (January 20, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0310341825
Genre:Spiritual Growth, Spirituality
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


From the blurb:
The Gospel costs nothing. You can’t earn it or buy it. It can only be received as a free gift which is compliments of God’s grace. It doesn’t cost anything, but it demands everything. It demands that we go “all in,” putting all that we have into God’s hands. And that’s where we get stuck―in spiritual no man's land. We’re afraid that if we go all in that we might miss out on what this life has to offer. It’s not true.

The only thing you’ll miss out on is everything God has to offer. And the good news is this: if you don't hold out on God, God won't hold out on you. Readers will find Batterson’s writing filled with his customary vivid, contemporary illustrations as well as biblical characters like Shamgar and Elisha and Jonathan and . . . Judas.

No one has ever sacrificed anything for God. If you always get back more than you gave up, have you sacrificed anything at all? The eternal reward always outweighs the temporal sacrifice. At the end of the day, our greatest regret will be whatever we didn’t give back to God. What we didn’t push back across the table to Him. Eternity will reveal that holding out is losing out.

The message of All In is simple: if Jesus is not Lord of all then Jesus is not Lord at all. It’s all or nothing. It’s now or never. Kneeling at the foot of cross of Christ and surrendering to His Lordship is a radical act of dethroning yourself and enthroning Christ as King. It’s also an act of disowning yourself. Nothing belongs to you. Not even you.

Batterson writes, “For many years, I thought I was following Jesus. I wasn’t. I had invited Jesus to follow me. I call it inverted Christianity. And it’s a subtle form of selfishness that masquerades as spirituality. That’s when I sold out and bought in. When did we start believing that the gospel is an insurance plan? It’s a daring plan. Jesus did not die just to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous.”


Review:
I suspected this would be an inspiring book to start the year and I was right. The author challenges the followers of Christ to go “all in”; to take a leap of faith; to make a decision to surrender everything and trust in God’s will and direction. In the very first section the author raises the question “Who’s Following Who”? The author observes that many Christians make their plans and expect God to follow when we should be seeking God’s plan so we can follow Him.

I think this challenge would be awesome and wonderful if put into practice at a young age; certainly before we choose a course of study, a career path, a mate for life. Sadly, that doesn’t happen so much. We have all made mistakes, seeking our own selfish desires, rather than waiting for God to lead, open doors or deliver the right mate. As Batterson notes, we are taught a fierce individual independence which is inconsistent with surrendering to our God. Fortunately, Batterson reminds the reader at the end that “God wants to do amazing things” and He can do them through us if we allow Him to.

It is not simple though to always know God’s Will. I fear that some people might read this book and be discouraged or feel guilty, although I am sure that Mr. Batterson does not intend that reaction. Rather he hopes to elicit a conviction… as he says, a decision.

If all believers truly commit to the complete message of Mr. Batterson’s book then we all might become like Mother Teresa. Even the author doesn’t live such a live and I don’t see that as the calling for each of us. However I do agree that we need to commit our lives to God and trust Him in ALL things. To me it means living a life of integrity and doing the very best job where I have been planted and sharing His love and the good news of His salvation. This determination has grown stronger in my life as I have grown in my understanding of God’s Word. It has been strengthened by the personal times I have experienced God’s hand in my life -- protecting me, blessing me (and my family) and delivering us from troubles, financially, physically and emotionally.

From beginning to end I made notes in this book; I underlined and highlighted. It is a book that I will look at often to remind me of where I need to be; who I need to trust; who is in control. I know that I have failed to respond to God’s nudging at times and I think the challenge and encouragement from this book will help me to focus and respond more readily.

Some people reading this book might make a major change in their lives. Others, myself included, see in it a recognition that we can do better in our daily lives. It is not always about doing a big thing, but it is always about doing even small things well and for the right reason – all to the glory of God. All of the ladies in book club agreed that this book motivates us to think differently and change, even if in small ways.

This was our Ladies Book Club choice to start the year and my pick for First Book. When I started reading I knew I could not just speed through it like I do with fiction. 
This qualifies for my TBR challenge and “A” in Alphabet Challenge.

I always try to buy an extra copy of my Ladies' Book Club books so I'll have one for giveaway. This time I had given all of the books out but one person gave it back after reading so I have a gently read copy for giveaway plus I will add an eBook copy for international giveaway!

GIVEAWAY:
One (gently read) PRINT COPY - US Only
Kindle ebook - International Only


(Don't forget to fill in the form for entry!)
For 3 Extra Bonus entries
(a) comment on the review, OR
(b) Visit the Author's website and tell me something you learned or like there.

* This contest is open to US for Print Copy; all others for Kindle eBook.
* This contest will close 5 PM (Central) February 25, 2017. Winner will be announced in the Sunday Post on 2/26/17.
Winners are asked to respond on the winners form linked in the announcement or by email.

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