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Friday, July 10, 2020

Audible Book Review: Vanguard by Jack Campbell

I enjoyed this space colonization sci-fi.
Vanguard
The Genesis Fleet, Book 1
By: Jack Campbell
Narrated by: Christian Rummel
Vanguard audiobook cover art
Series: Genesis Fleet, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
Release date: 05-16-17
Publisher: Audible Studios
Genre: Colonization, Military Sci-Fi
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 4.5.


Publisher's Summary
Jack Campbell returns to the world of the New York Times best-selling Lost Fleet novels with a new action-packed military science fiction series that explores the founding of the Alliance...and the men and women who fought to create it.
Earth is no longer the center of the universe. After the invention of the faster-than-light jump drive, humanity is rapidly establishing new colonies. But the vast distances of space mean that the old order of protection and interstellar law offered by Earth has ceased to exist.
When a nearby world attacks, the new colony of Glenlyon turns to Robert Geary, a young former junior fleet officer, and Mele Darcy, a onetime enlisted marine. With nothing but improvised weapons and a few volunteers, Geary and Darcy must face down warships and armored soldiers - or die trying.
As battles rage and pirates take an increasing toll throughout the colonies, the only hope for lasting peace lies with Carmen Ochoa, a "Red" from the anarchic world of Mars, and Lochan Nakamura, a failed politician. They have a plan: to lay the groundwork for mutual defense that could someday grow into an alliance. But if their efforts don't succeed, the growing power of aggressor worlds could turn regions of space founded on freedom into battlefields between the first interstellar empires.
©2017 John G. Hemry (P)2017 Audible, Inc.


Review:
Humanity has taken to the stars to establish new colonies, but they aren’t always safe. Glenlyon is a new colony that has established some primary living areas but has done nothing towards space defense. They can reach out to the home world for help but not only will that take time, ut the home world isn’t exactly jumping to aid the colonies.

Robert Geary is a former junior fleet officer looking for a new start on Glenlyon. He didn’t expect to be recruited to lead a rag tag, untrained force of volunteers. When an unannounced freighter and escort shuttle enter the planet’s orbit, Robert and his new force surprise everyone by capturing the shuttle. Their success provides a small advantage, but they still don’t have the weapons or forces to protect the planet if – or more likely when - the bullying enemy returns.

Mele Darcy, a former marine, with her rebellious nature, has traveled out to a distant colony for a new start in her own life. When the Glenlyon leadership need to set up a force to fight the intruding enemy, they discover Mele’s background and recruit her to put together a military presence. Fortunately, Mele has enough background and strategy intelligence to be able to set up successful raids to damage the enemy.

Meanwhile, two others looking for a new life, Carmen and Lochan, have landed on a neighboring planet. Even though Carmen was successful on Earth as a crisis and peace negotiator, she is afraid others will reject her because she is a “Red” from Mars. Lochan views himself as a failed politician and a failure in all aspects of his life. They begin to show each other that they can be accepted and succeed with a change in attitude.

Mele helped Lochan escape becoming part of a slave group. This connection becomes helpful when Robert reaches out to the colony where Carmen and Lochan have just arrived. The small group of friends realize they may be able to survive better if they join as an alliance to help each other.

It has been years since I read the first book in the Lost Fleet and I should probably return to the rest of that series. The background of the humanity expansions from Earth seemed very brief in this book and initially I felt the characters were disjointed or disconnected. I was glad when the connections came together. The story flowed quickly, and I enjoyed the easy characters who each have a talent that was needed. There were some moments that required a stretch of belief, but I find that okay to some degree especially in science fiction. I was troubled by some inconsistencies as one scene indicated a problem with space delayed communications and in a later scene the communications seemed to be instantaneous. The romantic element was a little annoying, though intended to be cute.

Overall, I enjoyed the ride and watching the characters face new challenges and battles. I would be interested to see how they continue to defend their worlds and seek resolution with the enemy. I recommend this to readers who enjoy an easy, fast-paced space sci-fi filled.

Audio Notes: Christian Rummel is a very talented narrator. He added life to the story by providing distinct and apt voices for the characters. I definitely enjoyed listening to this story.

Source: 12/6/2019 Audible Free Titles for Settlement. This qualifies for 2020TBR, 2020Alphabet and 2020Audiobook goals.

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway July 10, 2020

Happy Friday!
Sorry I missed posting last week. Thanks for understanding.
We were tired after the two days driving and then getting accustomed to children again. Our daughter-in-law's surgery went very well and the doctors are pleased with her progress. Hubby is helping with cooking while I help with children and clean up.

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 June 26, 2020 Pick. There was no 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 was no title blocked.

CONGRATULATIONS
to Random.org picked Winners from June 26, 2020 Pick:
NATALIJA gets a GC
and
RUBYNREBA gets the Mary Jane Clark 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 missed using this image last week so it is a week late.
Image found at Pinterest, uploaded by Aroundme

New Book Group #90 June 19, 2020
Quite a few mysteries in this box. 
PAIRS:
Mary Jane Clark:  Hide Yourself Away and Do You Want to Know a Secret
Maggie Shayne:  Embrace the Twilight and Colder Than Ice
SINGLES:
On Thin Ice by Cherry Adair
Siren's Song by Trish Albright (personally autographed)
Cutting Edge by Allison Brennan
Summer Skies by Judy Christenberry (I apparently had a duplicate of this title)
Alias by Smy J. Fetzer
Angel Face by Suzanne Forster
Stalking the Puzzle Landy by Parnell Hall
Hunting Fear by Kay Hooper
Statute of Limitations by Tamar Myers
The Missing Heir by Gail Rainstrom
Hot Sex by Janet Evanovich (Audio cassettes)
The Warrior by Frances Richey (poetry - hardcover)


New Book Group #89 March 6, 2020
Pairs:
Brenda Joyce: Firestorm and Innocent Fire
LaVyrle Spencer: Morning Glory and Bitter Sweet
Singles:
Open House by Elizabeth Berg (Hardback)
My Surrender by Connie Brockway
What the Heart Knows by Kathleen Eagle
Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman
How to Tame a Modern Rogue by Diana Holoquist
Angel Creek by Linda Howard
Montana Mavericks - Big Sky Grooms Anthology
Shadow and Silk by Ann Maxwell
Tempting Fire by Carla Neggers
Suicide Club by Gayle Wilson
Phoenix by A.J. Scudiere
Through the Years - Three Novels, Linda Howard, Fern Michaels and Debbie Macomber


New Book Group #88 November 8, 2019
PAIRS:
Stella Cameron: Body of Evidence and Fascination
Singles:
A Lady Never Tells by Candace Camp
Dawn of Redemption by Starla Childs


New Book Group #87 August 23, 2019

SINGLES:
Captain's Paradise by Kay Hooper
Open Season by Linda Howard AUDIO CASSETTES


New Book Group #86 June 7, 2019
Another group of variety from my shelves.
SINGLES:
Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze
Show No Fear by Marliss Melton
A Question of God's Balance (Vol 1) by Joseph Thek
King by Right of Blood and Might by Anna L. Walls


New Book Group #85 March 22, 2019
A variety from my shelves.

SINGLES:
Summer Skies by Judith Christenberry
Windfall (two stories) by JoAnn Ross
Daddy's Little Cowgirl (two stories) by Judith Bowen and Kimberly Raye
The Forever Year, Cold Pursuit, Lover's Lane and Temporary Sanity (Reader's Condensed)
ToxiCity by Libby Fischer Hillmann

New Book Group #84 December 15, 2018
Here are some Christmas titles to pick from.

SINGLES:
A Family for Thanksgiving
On this Holy Night
Christmas Haven
King Harold's Snow Job


New Book Group #83 November 30, 2018
(Starting bottom left and continuing up then down)
SINGLE
Seductive Secrets by Lynne Connolly
Seven Up by Janet Evanovich - Audio Cassettes
A Good Walk Spoiled by John Feinstein Audio Cassettes
Three Reader's Digest Condensed Books - each hardback:
Cold Harbour and The Courtship of Peggy McCoy
The Things We Do for Love, Three Weeks With My Brother, The Murder Artist and Night Train to Lisbon
Follow the Stars Home, Hunting Badger, The Quiet Game and Second Wind

New Book Group #82 November 9, 2018

Stella Cameron: Key West
SINGLES:
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
Killing Time by Linda Howard
The Wedding Night by Barbara Dawson Smith

New Book Group #81 August 17, 2018

SINGLES
Best Laid Plans by Allison Brennan
Darkness Tell Us by Richard Laymon
Cooking Most Deadly by Joanne Pence


New Book Group #80 August 17, 2018
Note: The Final Judgment and
The Book of Fate are Audio Cassettes
SINGLES:
Summer’s Moon by Lacey Baker
The Final Judgment by Richard North PattersonAudio Cassettes
Firebird by Janice Graham
No Getting Over a Cowboy by Delores Fossen
The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer Audio Cassettes


New Book Group #79 July 13, 2018
I found this box of books buried under some other boxes.
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lenox by Maggie O’Farrell
P.S. by Helen Schulman
Her Sexiest Surprise by Dawn Atkins (personally autographed)
Dakota Child by Linda Ford
Calling the Shots by Ellen Hartman
Promises, Promises by Amber Miller
This Time for Keeps by Jenna Mills
A Daughter’s Legacy by Virginia Smith
Another Man’s Baby by Kay Stockham


New Book Group #78 April 27, 2018
SINGLES
Blackberry Bush
Breaking Point
A Tangled Affair
Too Wicked to Love
Roses are Red Audio Cassettes


New Book Group #77 February 16, 2018- All gone

New Book Group #76 November 3, 2017
13 books remain of the original 37:
I finally Have them Listed!
Boots & Booties by Kristine Rolofson
Saucer the Conquest by Stephen Coonts
The Scorpion Seducer by Bonnie Vanak
Hell On Earth by David L. Porter
White Night by Jim Butcher
Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton
Crisscross by Harmon Henkin
Maelstrom by Anne McCaffrey
Inhuman Condition by Clive Barker
101 Commonsense Rules for the Office by John R. Brinkerhoff


This shelf of 35 books are what is left from Groups #1 (11/27/09) through Group #75 September 29, 2017
(Title list reads left at bottom to right at top - 14 titles.)
Rehabilitation
Secret Blessing
Named of the Dragon
Daring by Jillian Hart

Aunt Erma's Cope Book
JoAnn Ross: Confessions
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Bound by Destiny by Rayka Mennen
Rainbow Mars by Larry Niven


(Title list reads left at bottom to right at top - 21 titles.)
Plan of Attack by Dan Brown
(*Three more very old books from my Gothics box.)
*The Man in the Garden by Paule Mason (1969 - yellowed)
Fire Dancer by Ann Maxwell
*Four books are very old; pulled from a box of gothic novels I found.
*Maggie – Her Marriage by Taylor Caldwell (1953 very old, yellowed pages, some stain damage doesn't effect reading)
First Things First by Stephen R. Covey- Audio Cassette
Trilogy Of Mysteries Audio Book Shadow Prey, There Was A Little Girl, Smokescreen Audio Cassettes (NOT CDs)
Raintree Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (spine creases)
The Shadowing by Joan Overfield
The Sweetheart Dance by Patti Ann Colt
BOX 4 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 47-53)
Undateable by Ellen Rakieten & Anne Coyle
Jezebel by Katherine Sutcliff
The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty by Vickie Kennedy
Breakfast in Bed by Sandra Brown - Audio Cassette Tapes (link is for mass media version)
BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)
Shetland Summer by Janet Lynnford
BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)
The Trailsman: Texas Lead Slingers by Jon Sharpe
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
An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
Foundation (Foundation Novels) by Isaac Asimov
BOX #1 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 1- 23)
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser
Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester

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 NINE years I have posted 88 groups of 16 plus an additional 21 totaling 1,429 books to find new homes! (as of November 8, 2019).

I am happy to say that so far about 1,319+ books have found new homes through this feature! YAY. [A year or so ago I posted I had reached 2000 books given away. As I calculated the numbers 11/2/17 I realized that had to be an error. I realized I went from 1098 to 2001 instead of 1101. Guess I was tired; sorry for the error.] 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 faraway 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!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

#NetGalley Book Review: The Jumpgate by Robert Stadnik

I enjoyed the characters in this space exploration adventure.
The Jumpgate
by Robert Stadnik
45726325
File Size: 1396 KB
Print Length: 237 pages
Publication Date: August 1, 2019
Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
ASIN: B07RTPMVYS
Genre: Alien, First Contact, Space Fleet
My Rating:4.25 of 5.0.


After being trapped within the solar system for nearly a century, humanity is finally free to explore the galaxy. But questions still remain about the aliens that oppressed the human race. Where are they from? Why did they come to the Milky Way galaxy? The opportunity to uncover those answers finally presents itself. But is anyone brave enough to go through...the jumpgate.
This novel is part of the exodus universe.


Review:
Lieutenant Jacob Diego was part of a renegade human starship, the Phoenix, that defied military orders. Although the crew members became heroes to the public as their actions resulted in defeating the alien forces, they are shunned and spurned by most other military crews as traitors. Jacob requested reassignment to be the Commanding Officer (XO) of the Solaris, one of the few remaining capital ships that are being directed to patrol space. The communication officer on the Solaris is another ostracized survivor of the Phoenix. Jacob is surprised to find another crew member or two onboard who are willing to accept him. Even the captain’s acceptance is reluctant as he has no choice but to follow the orders of the Admiral.

Captain Dewis knows this is his last ship before he is sent to retirement. Instead of maintaining patrol, Dewis decides to take the unauthorized risk of entering the jumpgate to explore the other side and make a name for himself. Jacob protests but is helpless to stop Dewis as the crew would certainly not support the 'traitor'. Two other alien races agreed to explore the outside of the jumpgate but they are unhappy with the digression going through the jumpgate.

When Captain Dewis pursues his obsession by taking the Solaris through the jumpgate it isn’t long before they are attacked by enemies. Jacob and a handful of other crew members, including allied aliens, struggle to keep the ship intact and bring it back to the home galaxy. Will they be able to escape the enemy and destroy the jumpgate to protect their own worlds?

Although there is space action, including battles, this story is strongly character-driven with characters who are troubled. I found the development of the characters – the isolationism, the disharmony, and the power-seeking – interesting. I recommend this book to fans of space adventure who like the character elements as well as the space elements.

Source: NetGalley 2019. This qualifies for 2020TBR and 2020NetGalley goals.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

#NetGalley Book Review and Tour Giveaway: The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey

This combines good mysteries and nice romance.
The Crushing Depths (Coastal Guardians Book #2)
by Dani Pettrey
53163130
File Size: 9336 KB
Print Length: 371 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0764230859
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 30, 2020)
ASIN: B0821Q13JH
Genre: Christian Mystery, Romantic Suspense
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker on the first drilling platform off the North Carolina coast, Coast Guard investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are sent to take the case. Tensions surrounding the oil rig are high and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the structure from being completed, while rumors are being whispered about ancient curses surrounding this part of the ocean.

Mounting evidence shows the death may not have been an accident at all. Was he killed by one of the activists or, perhaps more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only a plethora of suspects, but also their own past and attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems like it'll break open, worse news arrives. A tropical storm has turned their way and soon they're cut off from any rescue--and right where the killer wants them. It's a race to discover his identity before he eliminates the threat they pose.


Review:
I like this author for romantic suspense with faith elements. This story provides two lines of mystery and dangers, one very nice ‘reunion’ style romance and two other romantic pairings.

Rissi and Mason were together as teens in foster care. They are both delighted to find each other and get to work as a Coast Guard investigative team. Just as they begin the investigation of a death on an oil rig, they find they must survive another ‘accident’. As they interview the witnesses and chase down leads with the help of their team, they share what happened during their years apart. Before they can finish following the clues another death occurs and they get stuck on the rig due to an oncoming storm. They need to salvage evidence while a killer tries to destroy it.

Meanwhile, the head of the Coast Guard team, Noah, is recruited by his sister to watch over her friend, Brooke, a Coast Guard Medic. Someone has broken into Brooke’s home, leaving behind a threatening message. Noah has sworn off women and is focused on his career. But he quickly begins to feel a strong protective bent towards Brooke and is more than ready to face off with her ex-boyfriend if he is the jerk terrorizing Brooke. Brooke isn’t too quick to trust after her break-up but she finds security whenever Noah is around.

On the romance end (and future books perhaps) another couple on Noah’s team are bantering and maybe a future match, as well as a team member who had fallen for Rissi but knows he has lost out to Mason.

The faith elements are woven in nicely. Not all the characters are believers so I imagine the author would develop that in future books/relationships. There was a good mix of danger, mystery, and romance. I would be interested in reading more in the series and I recommend this story and this author to fans of clean romantic suspense.

Source: 2020 NetGalley book for July Partners in Crime Tour: My posting date 7/8. This qualifies for 2020NetGalley goal.


The Crushing Depths

by Dani Pettrey

on Tour July 1-31, 2020

Book Details:

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Published by: Bethany House
Publication Date: June 30th 2020
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0764230859 (ISBN13: 9780764230851)
Series: Coastal Guardians #2
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook | Goodreads

Author Bio:

Dani Pettrey
Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as "a name to look for in romantic suspense," Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance.
Her novels stand out for their "wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters" (Publishers Weekly), "gripping storyline[s]," (RT Book Reviews), and "sizzling undercurrent of romance" (USA Today).
Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and have appeared on the CBA, ECPA, Publisher’s Weekly, and Amazon #1 bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award finalist, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing's Best Award.

Catch Up With Dani Pettrey:

DaniPettrey.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

Late September
Thirty-eight miles off North Carolina’s coast
Greg Barnes clinked along the grated metal steps, his boot heels rasping with each shuffle as he headed topside for a much-needed breath of smoke.
Thrusting the door open with a resounding creak, he stepped out into the night air.
A litany of protestors’ chants mimicked the shrill whining of cicadas.
He glanced at his watch. 1930. Didn’t those eco-nuts ever give it a rest?
As if the cursed rig wasn’t enough—they had the dang relentless protestors going practically day and night.
Exhaling, he rubbed his thumb along the smooth surface of the tarnished gold lighter in his pocket. His tight muscles seized, making his movements stiff. He shook his head. Those people needed to get a life.
Edging around the far corner of the main separator facility, he pressed his back against the structure’s cool outer wall. Generators whirred across from him, finally drowning out the clatter. He scanned his surroundings and exhaled in relief. Finally, alone.
His leg twitched. Just one drag . . . maybe two. It’d been an awful day, and that was the gentleman’s way of putting it.
With unsteady hands, he pulled the plastic-wrapped pack from his shirt pocket.
It crinkled beneath his hold and the sweet scent of tobacco wafted beneath his nose. He tamped the cigarette in his palm and slid it between his cracked lips. Just one drag.
Tugging the lighter from his pocket, he flipped it open, then rolled the pad of his thumb across the ignitor.
A spark flashed and fire roared, hissing over him in a sizzling cascade of torment.

Chapter Two

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Rissi Dawson sat at the long table on Dockside’s waterfront deck, gaping at Mason Rogers. He turned to look at her, his green eyes illuminated in the bright pole lights lining the wooden structural beams. She averted her eyes as heat rushed up her throat, spreading across her cheeks. He’d caught her staring again. Embarrassment drenched her. It’d been three days since his arrival, and she still couldn’t wrap her mind around the fact he was actually sitting next to her.
The boy she’d had the biggest crush on as a teen was back in her life. And on her Coast Guard Investigative Service team.
He handed her the basket of hush puppies the restaurant served instead of bread to start everyone off. His hand brushed hers with the movement, and her heart fluttered. “Thanks,” she said, keeping her gaze fixed on the red basket as she pulled two balls of fried cornmeal from it. She plopped the still-warm puppies onto the round plate to the right of her Coke. Get it together, girl!
The whir of a boat’s motor dropping to an idle sounded over the deck’s edge. A teen jumped out of the white outboard and onto the pier, tying her up to the cleat. Rissi loved living in a place with a boat drive-thru.
Noah raised his glass of iced tea. “Everyone . . .” The team lifted their glasses in response to their boss’s prompting.
Noah dipped his chin. “Welcome, Mason. Happy to have you on board.”
The team clinked their glasses together, even Caleb who sat brooding to her left. Observant as he was, there was no chance he missed the way she looked at Mason. In recent months, he’d developed feelings for her, so it wasn’t surprising he’d bristled at Mason’s arrival—especially after learning she and Mason shared a past, though he didn’t know the half of it. Only that they spent time in a children’s home together for a handful of months as teens.
The opening riff of “Sweet Home Alabama” emanated from Noah’s jean pocket. He hitched up as he extracted his phone. “Rowley,” he answered. “Yes?” Standing, he headed down the ramp toward the restaurant’s pier.
“Rockfish tacos,” the waitress said, placing the plate in front of Rissi. The sweet, tropical scent of the mango slaw swirled in the air.
The waitress handed out plate after plate to each of them, setting Noah’s burger at his spot while he continued to pace the pier.
Caleb bit into his Carolina BBQ pork sandwich, the scent of vinegar wafting in the night’s gentle breeze.
Finn Walker did the same with his crab cake sandwich. He and Noah, who was from Maryland, had argued for months over which state had the best crab cake. Finn had been convinced it was North Carolina, right up until Noah had crab cakes flown in fresh from Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Baltimore. It took two bites for Finn to concede the win.
“Sorry about that, folks,” Noah said, retaking his seat.
“Everything okay?” Emmy Thorton asked. Rissi looked forward to seeing the quirky angel every day at the station.
“Rissi, Mason.” Noah lifted his chin in their direction. “I’ve got an assignment for you.”
Her and Mason? They’d worked a case his first day on the team, but Finn had joined them for most of the investigation. This would be the two of them . . . alone. A mixture of elation and fear sifted through her.
“Great.” Mason set down his lemonade.
“We’ve got a death out on the Dauntless.”
“The offshore oil platform?” Mason asked, swiping a drop of lemonade from his bottom lip.
Stop staring, girl. So he’s jaw-dropping gorgeous. So you share a past. Still, staring is plain rude. Despite not having a mother to teach her, Rissi knew or, at least had come to learn, her manners.
Noah laid his napkin across his lap. “You two need to determine if the death was an accident or if foul play was involved. Helo is leaving from Textra Oil’s copter hub in forty-five. I need you both on it.”
Mason pushed back from the table. “No problem.”
“Great,” Noah said. “You’ll be joining the head of operations, a commercial diver, and the deceased’s replacement on the company copter.”
Rissi took one last bite of her taco before setting it down. She dabbed the corner of her lips with a napkin. “They aren’t wasting any time in replacing the deceased.”
“The deceased’s name is Greg Barnes. I talked to the head of operations, Bob Stanton, and he said they needed to replace him ASAP.”
“Must be an important position.” She reached for her glass and took a final sip.
“You’d think,” Noah said. “But Bob said the main reason they need to replace him fast is they’ve been working with a skeleton crew.”
Mason’s brows pinched as he stood. “Why?”
“Several guys didn’t show up for their three-week rotation transport out,” Noah said, popping a fry in his mouth.
“I know why they didn’t show up for that copter ride out there.” Tom Murphy leaned toward them from his table situated to their right.
“Why?” Mason asked, moving around to the back of Rissi’s chair. He held it out for her as she stood.
She glanced over her shoulder at him and smiled. “Thanks.”
He nodded.
Tom, one of Wrightsville’s most colorful fishermen, crooked his index finger, drawing them in. “That rig’s cursed.”
“Cursed?” Caleb chuckled. “You can’t be serious?”
Tom waggled his finger. “It’s no laughing matter, young man.”
“I’m sure it’s a good story, Tom,” Rissi said. No reason not to be polite. “But I’m afraid we’ve got to catch a copter ride.”
Tom shrugged and turned back to his food. “It’s your lives at stake.”
“What do you mean?” she asked before they passed his table, unable to stem her curiosity.
“You’ll see.” He smiled, his right incisor missing. “Henry’s curse is real.”
“Henry?” Why was she letting herself get sucked into this?
Tom let out a high-pitched chuckle. “Oh, you’ll learn all about Henry.”
“Shall we?” Mason said, gesturing to the wooden ramp leading down to the gravel parking lot.
Excusing themselves, they moved down the ramp. Mason leaned in. He smelled of the ocean and warm spice. He whispered, “Did that guy seriously just cackle?”
She nodded, strangely curious about the old man’s ghost story.
“I thought people only did that on Scooby-Doo.”
She let out a slip of laughter.
“I wouldn’t be laughing,” Tom called after them as they rounded the ramp on his side of the deck. “You two be careful out there, you hear? It’s a dangerous place to be. Just ask the men on board.”
***
Excerpt from The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey. Copyright 2020 by Dani Pettrey. Reproduced with permission from Dani Pettrey. All rights reserved.


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Monday, July 6, 2020

MBS June 2020 Reading List Wrap Up


MBS 2020 Reading List - JUNE
Code for the list is:
A = Audible; ABJ = Audiobook Jukebox; ABB = Audiobook Boom
e = eBook; eA = eBook from Author; eT = eBook from Tour
NG = NetGalley
P = Print; PT = Print from Tour
LBC = Ladies Book Club
TBR = From the TBR shelves prior to 2020
Favorites for the month:
5 Stars = none
4.75 Stars = none
4.5 Stars = The Finders, Radiance and Seven

  1. ATBR- Audible Book Review: Extracted by R. R. Haywood; Genre: Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi, Time Travel; My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 4.25.
  2. ATBR- Audible Book Review: The Other America - A Speech from The Radical King by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Genre: History, Social Issues; My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.25; Narration 4.25.
  3. NG19- #NetGalley Book Review: Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan; Genre: Crime Thriller, Detective Thriller; My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
  4. ATBR- Audio Book Review: The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes; Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Humor, Satire; My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.25; Narration 4.25.
  5. ATBR- Audio Book Review: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin; Genre: Teen; Sci-Fi & Fantasy; My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 4.0.
  6. NG2020- #NetGalley Book Review: The Finders (Mace Reid K-9 Mystery Book 1) by Jeffrey B. Burton; Genre: Amateur Sleuth, Canine, Mystery; My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0.
  7. ATBR- Audible Book Review: Radiance, Wraith Kings, Volume 1, by Grace Draven; Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance; My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.5; Narration 4.5.
  8. eBTBR- Book Review: Justice in an Age of Metal and Men by Anthony W. Eichenlaub; Genre: Cyberpunk, Sci-Fi, Western; My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0.
  9. ATBR- Audio Book Review: Seven by Multiple Authors; Genre: Drama, Radio Theatre; My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0; Overall; Story 4.5; Narration 4.5.
  10. ATBR- Audible Book Review: Plan Z: How to Survive the 2009 Financial Crisis by Robert Pagliarini; Genre: Financial, Non-Fiction, Self-Help; My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 4.0.
  11. Audible Vanguard by Jack Campbell
  12. NetGalley Jumpgate by Robert Stadnik
  13. Audible Orion by J.N. Chaney, Jonathan Yanez

Total read = 13; TBR = 12; New to Me Authors = 10
Audio/Audible = 9 (9 TBRs)
eBook = 1 (1 TBR)
NetGalley = 3 (2 TBR)
Review books (other than NG) = 0 ebook/0 audio
Print = 0
• Series: 10
• New to me Series: 10 (3 to continue, 1 likely and 6 maybe)
• Continuing for me Series: 0
• Finished for me Series: 0

Goal Progress (Year to date meaning through the end of the given month):
Goodreads Goal Read to Date: 75 of 150
TBR to Date: 58 of 100 total
TBR ebooks: 2 of 24
Audio to Date: 49 of 75
NetGalley to Date: 22 of 40
Author Reviews: 7 of 12
Nonfiction: 6 of 12
Series to Date: 47 (33 New and 14 Continued) 4 Finished
• Seasonal title: Winter 1, Spring 1,
• Alphabet letters covered: 10 Jan; 7 Feb; 5 March; 0 April; 0 May; 1 June

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