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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Book Review: How to Charm a Beekeeper's Heart by Candice Patterson

This is a charming, inspirational romance.
How to Charm a Beekeeper's Heart
by Candice Patterson
File Size: 1428 KB
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: White Rose Publishing; 1 edition (October 28, 2016)
ASIN: B01BB7R9HC
Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0


Weddings are the last thing beekeeper Huck Anderson wants to be associated with, considering his past. So when he inherits a building occupied by a bridal boutique, he aims to evict the failing business and open a sporting goods store. That is until his tenant ends up being Arianne Winters, a woman he's indebted to from a mistake made years ago. When a life-threatening injury derails Huck entirely, Arianne offers a compromise to keep her boutique and her life out of bankruptcy—she'll aid in his lengthy recovery if he'll allow her to remain in his building. But nursing her adversary proves challenging when her adolescent crush resurfaces. Amidst a battle-of-wills, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways, providing opportunity to overcome their pasts and start anew. Will this confirmed bachelor consider holy-matrimony, or will Huck's choices sting them a second time?


Review:
This is a sweet, second chance romance. I loved the bee facts shared at the end of each chapter in tips and quotes.

Arianne was the brain in high school who helped Huck, the jock, get through his tests. She’d always had a bit of a crush on him but suffered a heart blow when he stood her up for prom. She moved on to a safer, saner romance in college, married and had a daughter. Sadly, her husband walked out before the child was three. Arianne has been struggling to make a living at her bridal boutique while raising Emma and taking care of her 25-year-old sister who can’t seem to find herself… or a job.

Huck inherits a building from his uncle and determines he will evict the bridal shop tenant and open a sporting goods store. That plan isn’t so easy when he learns that the tenant is the girl he wronged in high school. Huck has secrets and issues from his past that have made him a loner. He doesn’t do “relationship” although he is willing to spend a few weeks with a woman who isn’t looking for any long-term romance. Huck wants to get away from Arianne as quickly as he can. This plan doesn’t work either when he suffers a serious accident and Arianne steps forward to take care of him during his rehabilitation in exchange for allowing her time to move the bridal shop.

Huck finds himself enjoying the company of Arianne and adorable Emma. He is even willing to share his bee farming with them. Even though he is willing to encourage Arianne to pursue her dreams, he doesn’t think he is worthy of her love. Arianne continues to struggle with her business and her sister. She isn’t sure she can handle the pain of an unrequited love and she doesn’t want to risk hurting Emma with another man who would most likely abandon them. Still, she might not be able to keep her heart from falling for the man she has always fantasized about.

I really enjoyed these struggling characters and watching as they wrestled with their past pains and lost dreams. Ms. Patterson does a nice job showing their growth and allowing the romance to grow, even through their fears. Emma adds a precocious and sweet character.

The writing is nicely handled with nice descriptions, smooth delivery, and easy flow. I really enjoyed how Arianne’s strong faith, and Emma’s child’s faith, are shared, by little graces and even in flaws, so that Huck begins to long for an unconditional love he has never known. The story is engaging and the characters’ journeys are believable and heartwarming. I recommend this to readers who enjoy inspirational, small town style, second chance romance.

I received this from NetGalley and it qualifies for my NetGalley Challenge.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Post August 20, 2017/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday August 21, 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.

Another busy week with some craziness. One employee was out sick for two days during her final week of work. Heather was out for a four day conference. My new employee started Thursday. I was out of office on Friday to another industry conference. This coming week will involve some traveling for hearings in other counties. There will be chances to listen to my books even if busy for my work week.

Reading was good. I finished three books: two ebooks books and one audio book. I only got two reviews posted, plus one spotlight, along with my usual memes.

I visited 27 blogs last week.
Shout out this week is to Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! Stormi has been a strong book blogger for a number of years.
Thank you to all the nice people who visit me.

These were last week's posts:
  • ATBR- Audible Book Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown; Dystopian, Fantasy, Sci Fi; My rating 4.75.
Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (NG)


Wolf Hunt (SWAT Book 6)
by Paige Tyler
This is entertaining reading; received from NetGalley.
Click on book title for full description.




2. Audible/MP3 (ABJ)


H Is for Hawk
Written by: Helen Macdonald
Narrated by: Helen Macdonald
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
This is not quite what I expected but beautifully written for an interesting memoir/biography.
I picked this title from my TBR shelves
for "H" on my Alphabet Challenge.
Click on book title for full description.



3. eBook/Kindle (NG)


by Robin Caroll
I enjoyed this action story with Christian element.
I received this through NetGalley.
Two recovery specialists.
One murder.
A hunt for the Dutchman's Lost Gold Mine becomes a race of survival.
Former Army MP Landry Parker fell into the recovery specialist role quite by accident—to help her ailing father. Now that she’s on her own, she is determined to prove herself and honor her family legacy.
After being shot in the line of duty, former police officer Nickolai Baptiste became a recovery specialist, and he’s good at his job—maybe even the best.
A potential client pits Landry and Nickolai against one another to find the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine map that was stolen from her murdered husband, and the potential payday is too enticing to pass up. The trail takes them from New Orleans to Weaver’s Needle in Arizona where legend claims the mine is hidden. Landry and Nickolai are no strangers to adventure, but the unlikely partners quickly discover there’s someone after the treasure and there are those who want to ensure the lost mine in Arizona’s Superstition Mountain stays lost forever.
Can Landry and Nickolai work together despite their distrust of each other to save the legend before more innocent lives are lost? Will they find the real treasure isn’t the gold, but something more valuable. . .true love and understanding?




Currently Reading:
1. Audio CD (ABJ)



The Healer's Apprentice
By Melanie Dickerson
Narrated By Jude Mason
Series: Hagenheim, Book 1
This series looks good so I am glad to try it.
I received this MP3 audio book from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox.
Publisher's Summary
In author Melanie Dickenson's new book, a young healer's apprentice named Rose believes she will never marry...until she meets Lord Hamlin, the future ruler of her village. Hamlin is everything she could ever want - kind, understanding, and a man of faith - but her low station and the fact he's already betrothed to a mysterious woman makes their romance impossible. As Lord Hamlin seeks to find the sorcerer who cursed his future bride, Rose's life spins toward confusion. A creative retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale.
©2015 Melanie Dickerson (P)2015 Zondervan



2. eBook/Kindle (NG)


by Jeff Gunhus
This will feed my post-apocalyptic need this week.
I received this through NetGalley.
USA TODAY bestselling author Jeff Gunhus. 
In the near-future, the world order has deteriorated after America's exhaustion from endless foreign wars causes her to pull back within her borders. Her enemies and allies alike pursue their own interests, grabbing resources, erecting trade barriers, and launching opportunistic wars. The American Century is a distant memory.
Sheriff Rick Johnson thinks he's left behind the problems of the greater world, retiring from the Marines to become the sheriff of the little town of Resurrection, Colorado. His relationship with Dahlia, his childhood friend's widow, has given him new purpose, along with the responsibility of being a father-figure to her young son. Life isn't perfect, but it's better than he ever expected it would be after seeing the horrors of war. But when helicopters and armored vehicles filled with soldiers in hazmat suits unexpectedly quarantine the town, Sheriff Rick Johnson feels like the nightmares of the outside world have followed him home.
While the town follows martial law, Rick isn't buying the official version of events from the military that a virus has been released into the air. As he investigates, the cover story unravels and he discovers the military's presence and the salvation they offer isn't what it seems. Soon he and his ex-flame, scientist Cassie Baker, are entangled in a plot so evil that it could only be bourn from the absolute extremes of nationalism and madness.
There are men in Resurrection who are willing to do anything to see America restored to her former greatness, even if the rest of the world must be destroyed to make it happen. But Rick Johnson is a man willing to do anything to protect the people he loves. And he's a force to be reckoned with.



3. eBook/Kindle (Author)


Who'll Stop The Rain: (Book One Of The Miami Crime Trilogy)
by Don Donovan
I thought I'd better get to reading my author queue.
I received this from the Author last October.
"I slowed way down for the speed bumps on the narrow, wet street. The cemetery loomed in its eternal silence on our right, and I felt the eyes of the dead opening under heavy lids to watch us pass by in the rainy night, somehow knowing we were on our way to do murder, to send them some company."
From the mean streets of Miami, Hialeah, and Key West comes this sprawling noir novel of three hardened individuals:
LOGAN, career criminal from Key West who is fed up with his outlaw life, but can't escape it.
MAMBO DeLIMA, gambling boss of Key West, who is being muscled by out-of-town racketeers and is determined to face them down.
SILVANA MACHADO, the first female detective sergeant in the Miami PD's homicide division, who gets her results through violence and intimidation.
In this first entry in The Miami Crime Trilogy, Don Donovan has spun a tale of separate South Florida characters whose lives are woven together into a web of money, betrayal, and murder.
"... classic noir, written as noir was intended to be written."
-- David Beckwith, Key West Citizen



4. Print (LBC)


A Matter of Character,
Sisters of Bethlehem Springs Series #3
by Robin Lee Hatcher
I am not too far in this as our Ladies Book Club meeting was postponed until September.
Print reading is slower for me these days.



August 20, 2017 - I am half a day ahead in 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 three books and posted only two reviews. That puts me to four current reviews and one for September release. I am now two weeks behind again linking my reviews to Goodreads, Amazon and Audible.
I am still at 4 NetGalley titles (and still eyeing new ones) and still 8 author titles in my queue.


We're working on two fiction books soon to add to eTreasure's NetGalley page.


Welcome to Mailbox Monday.
Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. This Meme started with Marcia at A Girl and Her Books (fka The Printed Page) and after a tour of hosts has returned to its permanent home at Mailbox Monday. Thanks to the ladies sharing hosting duties: Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit and (yours truly).  
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
I didn't get any review titles this week.
I picked up two Audibles with credits and one free. I purchased one $.99 Kindle title.
As usual, I picked up more free kindle titles as usual. (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
NONE

WON 
NONE

Purchased
I resisted the Audible daily deals but chose my July selections:
Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy
By Pierce Brown
I had to get the next in the series.

By Taylor Anderson
This is a series I really like.


I also picked up one Kindle title for $.99:
Hard to resist this author at such a nice price:

Run to Ground (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit Book 1)
Katie Ruggle



Free

I received a free to members Audible book:
Private
By James Patterson, Maxine Paetro





These are five of my Free Kindle Picks: (One, three and five may still be free):

Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley (Arcadia Valley Romance Book 1)
Mary Jane Hathaway, Lee Tobin McClain, Annalisa Daughety, Valerie Comer, Elizabeth Maddrey, Danica Favorite, Arcadia Valley





A Scone To Die For (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries ~ Book 1)
H.Y. Hanna





The Twisted Fairy Tale Box Set, Books 1-3
(A Twisted Fairy Tale Book 0)
Holly Hook


Rebecca Schwartz Mysteries 4-5 (Rebecca Schwartz Mystery Series)
Julie smith




I added only 52 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 August 20, 2017

Our usual Sunday School teacher was being released from hospital today after some issues. Our secondary teacher brought us interesting facts about the Solar Eclipse that will cross the United States on Monday.

We had a Baptism service after our Pastor preached the final sermon in the Dangerous series. Pray “Change Me”.

Sometimes we pray this with our mind and mouth but our will (our heart) is not really in line. There is a saying that “We don’t change until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of changing.”
Real change doesn’t come easy. Everyone tends to say “change them” rather than “change me”. It is a real problem if we only look TO ourselves and IN ourselves, we will likely fail.

The POINT: God enacts change in our life by revealing TRUTH to prepare us for fellowship with Him.
God works through a process in changing us; it is not instantaneous.
Philippians 1:6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Hebrew 12:1-2 … let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up….
Real change must be from a value within, not just an outward behavior. People struggle through live seeking something, not realizing that change will only occur when we accept Jesus and find our value in His redeeming grace. Then we can change our lives by becoming a slave to Christ instead of a slave to sin.
Will you pray: “Change; Show me Your Truth”?
It was exciting to watch seven young people who changed their lives today!

I found this song a week or so ago and think it fits for today.
Verses for Today:
Philippians 1:3-6 NLT
3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Lord, help my will join my mind in praying: Change me.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sharing Beyond Books #316 Comment Giveaway August 19, 2017

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.
Six of our friends who live abroad have never been to US. Several of our Canadian friends have visited several states. Commenters have visited a range of states from as few as 3 to as many as 30.
Natalija advised that Italy is the size of Arizona. MaryP notes that Australia is nearly the same size as continental USA. Nikki's country has 13 states and she has only been to half.

~~~~~

The Winner from SBB #315 comments is: #15 Elizabeth who can make a GC choice if international or book choice from the Updated (**Finally!) ARC/Review titles or (recently updated) Love and Christmas titles - all linked near the end of the post.

**NOTE: I did post an Updated ARC and Other books for Giveaways. I have to go back and list the titles -- someday.
Please let me know your choice by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #316
(One Question.)

Becky asks: Do you enjoy to landscape and have something beautiful to look at when taking breaks from reading or working??
I do enjoy working with the flowers and yard although I have limited time. Many years ago I even had Bonsai's that I loved. In cool weather I might sit outside to read but I don't enjoy being out in the heat of summer months.
Related image

Image found at Design Tool Box.

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. Becky asks: Do you enjoy to landscape and have something beautiful to look at when taking breaks from reading or working??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the Updated ARC and Other books, including the "Love" and Christmas titles all in one post.

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 August 26, 2017 at 5 PM central.

Audible Book Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Oh boy! This is a wonderfully gripping story.
Written by: Pierce Brown
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
Series: Red Rising, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:01-28-14
Publisher: Recorded Books
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Sci Fi
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0


Publisher's Summary
Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.
Darrow - and Reds like him - are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies...even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.
©2013 Pierce Brown (P)2014 Recorded Books


Review:
Darrow is a Red who are the lowest, the slaves, in the caste society system on their planet. The Golds are the ruling class, governing with arrogance and impunity.

The Reds live and work underground, drilling the mines they believe ‘will someday make the surface of Mars livable for future generations’. Darrow likes his dangerous mining job and he is the best. Although he and his clan have exceeded the others, the incentive award is always given to a more favored clan. Darrow shrugs this off, but his young, spirited wife, Eo, objects. She challenges him to take a stand and live for more.

Eo rebels in a forbidden act and becomes a martyr. Darrow seeks to end his own life but is tricked, revived and shown that the society he knows is built on lies. He is asked to become a tool of rebellion. He is to be transformed into a Gold so he can infiltrate the enemy.

After his painful transformation, Darrow passes the entry tests and is admitted to the Gold Training Institute where the top students go through a draft selection to become a group under the governing Gold houses. Darrow is an unknown but has done well enough in the preliminaries to be picked early by the house of Mars, because of his underlying rage tendencies.

The eight houses of students are placed in a community where they must attempt to protect their own house standard while capturing the others. The ‘games’ are overseen, rather loosely, by the house proctors who watch from ‘Olympus’, and occasionally provide supplies and aid

Darrow makes friends and enemies before the draft and after. The first test for everyone is shocking. Then the survivors must pull together to find a leader, the primus, to direct them toward victory. Clearly, the primus of each house will be in a favored position for selection once the games are concluded. Darrow is intent on being primus of his house although it pits him against the son of one of the top ruling houses of Golds.

Darrow faces many struggles – first to survive and then to win. He must learn to control his rage as he tries to outwit others. Some friends become enemies and he is never totally sure whom he can trust. He discovers treachery and corruption. He doesn’t intend to comply with the corrupt plans of the proctors. He intends to win in the end … if only he can survive the betrayal of friends and the assassination attempts of the interfering proctors.

This is a gripping story with great world building and interesting character development. I was quickly pulled into the story and cared about several characters. There is brutality, loss and sadness with only a few scenes to celebrate – like the surprising twist before the game ends. I was a little surprised by Darrow’s choice at the very end but it makes absolute sense for what he needs to do for his people, the Reds. I will be getting the next book soon. I recommend this to fans of dystopia stories and The Hunger Games with the caution that this is dark and brutal.

Audio Notes: Tim Gerard Reynolds does a wonderful job narrating. He provides voices and emotions that bring the characters alive and moves the story forward. This is engaging listening entertainment and I plan to listen to the rest of the series.

(I note that the ebook/print has a map at the beginning that shows the battle fields and might be of interest to listeners.)

This is another from my Audible shelf. It qualifies for Mount TBR, Audio Book Challenge and "R" in my Alphabet Challenge.

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