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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Sunday Post October 1, 2023/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday October 2, 2023

Sunday Post #318 Chairs, Compliance, and Storms
I am linking with Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? now at The Book Date (at Wordpress)
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.

Happy Fall (I missed this last week) and Happy October.
It is October so most of my reading this month will be Horror, ghostly, or paranormal. I'm lining up shorter works for Fraterfest.

We are working out checklists and sharing organization skills at the office to help training and minimize the natural stress of real estate and law office work.

My daughter was in an accident a week ago. A young driver pulled into traffic from a blind spot and she was there. She is sore and at least has a rental car covered while we wait for a determination regarding the car. She is feeling overwhelmed with this on top of her moving in August (due to the divorce earlier this year) and her upcoming surgery. All prayers and positive thoughts are appreciated!

We were busy in September with our GFWC Marianna Woman's Club.
On 9/30 we participated in GFWC National Day of Service by packing bags for students in our county schools.
Here are the ladies that came out and another image of us working in action.

My continuing prayers include prayers for more unity in all nations, a calmer social atmosphere, and for revival. We are also continuing prayers for family and church.
Adding prayers this week for the many who are impacted by the strikes in California and Michigan.

Our weather here is looking really nice. 80s during the days and 60s at night. 

I finished an ebook and two audios and posted three reviews with my memes. 

I visited 14 blogs last week.
Shout out this week to CHICK WITH BOOKS.  Suzanne says about her blog: "Book Reviews, eBook Reader chat, Book Giveaways, Publishing news is what it's all about." is still sharing some free listens for children.
  • ATBR: Audio Book Review: A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher; Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Middle Grade, Mysteries; My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.5; Narration 4.5.
  • eB2023: Book Review: Con Crazy by Addison J. Chapple, Danny Kravitz, Eliza Marsh; Genre: Crime, Humor, International Mystery; My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
  • ATBR: Audible Book Review:  299 Days, The Preparation, Book 1, by Glen Tate; Genre: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Prepper; My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 4.0.
Finished Reading:
1. Audio Smartphone (ATBR)
Book cover for What If It's True? by Charles Martin

What If It's True?
by Charles Martin
Narrated by Charles Martin
Run Time 9h 55min
Charles Martin shares an emotional and strong argument for faith in Jesus Christ.
Source: December 2020 Chirp $4.99.

Click on book title for full description.

2. Kindle App on Smartphone (eBTBR)

Jingled (A Charlie Cooper Christmas Short Story)
By Deany Ray
Charlie Cooper Mystery #4.5
This is a short, fun Christmas disaster turned to joy story.
Source: I received this from the author newsletter sign up in June 2021.

Click on book title for full description.

3. Audible Smartphone (ATBR)
Not Alone audiobook cover art

Not Alone
By: Craig A. Falconer
Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
Length: 22 hrs and 59 mins
Release date: 08-09-16
This first contact story is long but mostly engaging.
Source: 1/27/19 Audible Daily Deal Rewind Sale $1.99

Click on book title for full description.

Currently Reading:
1. Kindle App on Smartphone (eBTBR)

Her Kind of Sheriff
by Ellen Knightley
I am continuing my effort to read on Kindle.
I thought this clean historical western romance would be an easy read – I was right.
I only have a little left to finish.
Source: November 2022 Bookfunnel download from Newsletter.

Life in Black Shaw is a constant struggle for Eve Stanton, between helping her mother with her six siblings and working as a seamstress. When her father approves a marriage proposal she has no interest in without even asking her, Eve is horrified. Barely eighteen, she’s not ready to commit to a life without romance. Making matters worse, a false accusation made against her suddenly turns her into an outcast. In the midst of her despair, she finds an unlikely ally in the handsome new sheriff. She can’t allow herself to hope he could ever be interested in her, but she also can’t seem to stay away from him. With her life in turmoil and her would-be husband looming, will Eve be brave enough to go after what she truly wants?
Logan Andrews has always dreamt of being a sheriff, so when an opportunity opens up in a small town of Texas, he jumps at the chance. Being a man with a strong sense of justice, he has a burning desire to put away all the criminals that have been terrorizing the town of Black Shaw. However, when he locks up a man who has everyone convinced he’s a hero, Logan becomes the town’s number one enemy. His only support comes from a beautiful and captivating young seamstress, with dazzling blue eyes he can’t stop thinking about. While he doggedly works to prove his worth and change people’s minds, will he also allow himself to give in to a love that could change his life forever?
Logan and Eve find common ground when their place in town is threatened and their integrity is questioned. Having each other to rely on, they struggle to regain everything they’ve lost while their feelings intensify beyond measure. With everything against them and their feelings intensifying, will their tender love survive the trials coming their way? Will they manage to stand up for what they believe in without losing each other in the process?

2. Audio App on Smartphone (ATBR)

Author Jorge Sanchez
Narrator: James Fouhey
Duration: 10 h 59 min
I'm starting the month with a Zombie story.
Source: 10/30/2021 Two For One Credit Horror Audiobooks.

It's been three long years since Deadbreak. That's what everyone's calling it-the day the dead rose. Every day since then Jeremiah Reid has had one goal: to make his way back to his daughter. With his four-legged companion, Joe, Jeremiah has to travel a lawless wasteland teeming with zombies, bandits, and worse, like people who put anchovies on pizza (you know who you are). It's a new world out there and no one is safe. People are weary, cities are in ruin, supplies are scarce, and brains are on the menu. If he's going to have a chance, he'll need his wits, a little bit of luck, and lots of ammo.

3. Kindle App on Smartphone (eBTBR)

Outage Boxed Set: Books 1-3
(Outage Horror Suspense Series)
by T.W. Piperbrook
I’ll start the month with a longer ebook that I can break into shorter books if needed.
The paws on the cover make me curious what is waiting in the snow.
Source: 2/28/2013 free Kindle.

When an early snow ravages the small town of Plainfield, the residents are stripped of heat, power, and mobility. They’ll soon wish they had protection. Somewhere outside, something else is lurking. Waiting for the chance to strike…

October 1, 2023 - I am doing the daily readings of BibleProject plan: The Full Story - "From the beginning to the Amen". My readings are still in Acts and I am enjoying reading the efforts of the apostles to preach and teach.
Looking at adding a 5 or 7 day study this month.

I finished three books and posted three reviews so I am caught up.

No change- I have an older audio on my shelf I should listen to soon.
I still have the two old NetGalley ebook titles.

Other Sources: I have a dozen or so books that I received from Facebook links and newsletter sign-ups, not specific review requests. plus many titles through InstaFreebie over the past few years.

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: Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, me, and newest to the team, Emma at Words and Peace.
Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
No new review titles this week.
I purchased three audios at Chirp.
I used a credit at for 2 for 1 romance audiobooks.
I picked up another 4 Audible Plus titles.
No new Kindle titles this week.

Are your mailbox and TBR piles blooming?

Review Titles


9/27/2023 Three titles on sale at Chirp.
Book cover for The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods
The Lost Bookshop
Written by Evie Woods
Narrated by Collected Narrators

$24.99 $3.99

Book cover for Eye of Truth by Lindsay Buroker
Eye of Truth
Written by Lindsay Buroker
Narrated by Vivienne Leheny

$6.99 $0.99

Book cover for The Elf Tangent by Lindsay Buroker
The Elf Tangent
Written by Lindsay Buroker
Narrated by Vivienne Leheny

$9.99 0.99

9/27/2023 2 for 1 Best Romance Audiobooks
Under the Tulip Tree
Under the Tulip Tree
Written by: Michelle Shocklee
Narrated by: Sarah Zimmerman

Duration 9 hours 31 minutes

Welcome to Seabury: The Perfect Summer Seaside Escape
Welcome to Seabury: The Perfect Summer Seaside Escape
Series: #1 of The Seabury Series
Written by: Beth Rain
Narrated by: Charlie Sanderson

Duration 4 hours 19 minutes

9/27/2023 Free from Audible Plus Catalog.
If You Only Knew
By: Kristan Higgins
Narrated by: Xe Sands, Amy Rubinate

Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins

The Man in the Black Suit
By: Sylvain Reynard
Narrated by: Robertson Dean

Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins

The Summer That Made Us
By: Robyn Carr
Narrated by: Therese Plummer

Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins

St. Nicholas Salvage & Wrecking
By: Dana Haynes
Narrated by: Victor Bevine
Series: St. Nicholas Salvage & Wrecking, Book 1

Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins

No new title added to Kindle library.  Free titles might be found at Bookbub, Book Adrenaline, Ereader News Today, Inspired Reads, or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Words of Encouragement October 1, 2023 - Delight and Meditate on God's Word.

Our Sunday School teacher continued the study in James 4:1-13 giving a message not to judge or be critical of others. We noted there is a distinction between being discerning a situation that needs attention and judging when it is not our place to judge.

Our service started with lovely worship songs. Pastor provided a good message from Psalm 1:1-6. He noted that men are born in sin due to the fall described in Genesis. Psalm 51:5.

Psalm 1 describes the difference between the wicked and the righteous. Apostasy can result from backsliding. Believers can wander out of their relationship with God by associating and taking advice from the ungodly. Listening to the world is stepping away from God. Anything that is inconsistent with the Word can draw a believer away from his walk with God.

It is important who we accept counsel from, who we hang out with, and what thoughts we listen to. We may be good people, but we need a savior. We are not necessarily born with Godly wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29.

“Blessed is the one … whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2. We have a perfect God who is always working on imperfect people. Meditating on the word changes the life of the person doing the meditating. Faith comes by hearing … and is increased by hearing.

There is “A way that seems right unto a man…” Proverbs 14:12-16. You cannot practice what is right unless you study God’s word. “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:9-11. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105.

Listening to and applying God’s word is act of worship; it is surrendering to God’s ways. Knowing the Word will change behavior.

The person who delights in God’s law is like a tree with sound roots that yields fruit in season, and prospers. Psalm 1:3. The rooted believer will prosper and have everything they need for Godly success. God will provide blessings and assurance even in hard times.

We all go through seasons, but God provides according to His Will and plans. At the final time of judgment, there will be a clear difference between the righteous and the wicked. Each person will fall in one category or the other. The choice is ours.

I searched (and enjoyed) many song videos but this is the one that stirred my soul for this message.
Verses for Today:
Psalm 1 ESV
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

Lord, I am so thankful that you give me guidance through Your word for all situations of life.

NIV Verse of the Day: Psalm 1:1-2

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Audible Book Review: 299 Days, The Preparation, Book 1, by Glen Tate

This is an early prepper narrative – not action but preparation.
299 Days
The Preparation, Book 1
By: Glen Tate
Narrated by: Kevin Pierce

299 Days  By  cover art

Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
Release date: 10-26-14
Publisher: Sellerman and Sweeney, LLC
Genre: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Prepper
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 4.0.

Publisher's summary
Meet Grant Matson: lawyer, father, suburbanite husband who awakens to the fragility of modern society and embarks on a personal journey that introduces him to a world of self-reliance and liberation. 299 Days: The Preparation, the first audiobook in the 299 Days series, depicts the inner struggles Grant must face as he exists in a social system he recognizes as unsustainable and on the verge of collapse, but one in which he has built his life around. What begins as a return to his roots, self-sufficiency and independence, becomes a full blown move to prepare for what may come.
Engaging, insightful, and a bit suspenseful, follow Grant's transition from a self-perceived "sheeple" to a full-blown "prepper". Will his fears come true? Is he an extremist? What if nothing happens? What if something does?
©2012 Glen Tate (P)2014 Sellerman and Sweeney, LLC

Grant was raised by a logger father who fell into alcoholism after an accident. Thereafter his youth was full of abuse and dysfunction. Grant knows his family is poor and initially he thinks he can’t get beyond his circumstances. But he manages to go to college, meet and impress the woman of his dreams, and progress to law school. Upon graduation he is glad to get a position where he can fight for justice for the little guys set upon particularly by the government or big companies. He is distressed by government policies and he begins to see behind the scenes that America will suffer an economic fall from its massive debt.

Grant recognizes that the typical city “sheeple” will not be prepared to face trouble. He learned shooting and rural skills in his childhood and now he slowly turns to his rural roots and begins to gather the supplies to survive a social system failure. It starts with collecting guns and nonperishable food stockpiles. It continues with training with former military and law enforcement officers, to identifying other like-minded friends who he can reach out to when trouble hits. Finally, he is able to acquire (with his mother’s help) a cabin that is sustainable and defensible. Most of this is done behind the back of his wife which is bound to cause trouble at some point.

This story is told from the POV of Grant as he ponders the dangers of an economic collapse and step by step prepares for the worst. The author, through his main character, shares his dislike of liberal policies especially as they have impacted Washington State. There is limited action and suspense in this first book as the biggest suspense is in wondering how he will deal with his wife when the time comes and when the collapse may occur. Still, I enjoyed the journey of awareness and preparation for a plausible event. It is not a particularly exciting book but I found it entertaining. I will likely try the next book at some time. I recommend this to fans of prepper narratives (who won’t take offense to the political views).

Audio Notes: Kevin Pierce is an experienced and good narrator for this type of story. He provides distinct voices and solemnity of the purpose. The narration enhanced my enjoyment of the story.

Source: 3-3-2022 Audible Sale Purchase $3.74; (Regular Price: $24.95). This qualifies for 2023TBR, 2023Audiobook, and 2023Number goals.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Book Review: Con Crazy by Addison J. Chapple, Danny Kravitz, Eliza Marsh

This is entertaining with a twist at the end.
Con Crazy

by Addison J. Chapple, Danny Kravitz, Eliza Marsh

ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08ZRG731W
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Level 4 Press, Inc. (August 29, 2023)
Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 29, 2023
Genre: Crime, Humor, International Mystery
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

The con is on.
Prewitt Patry is an expert in European art and antiquities, and he used to be the best con artist in New York City. But fate has left him divorced and broke, with his glory days behind him.
Then a golden opportunity falls into his lap.
Ranger du Courtemanche is the aging patriarch of the centuries-old French aristocratic Courtemanche family. The family resides in their ancestral chateau and they haven’t been outside the property in years. Enter Prewitt, who cozies up to the reclusive family—Ranger and his two sisters—and warns them that their chateau and wealth have been targeted by an obscure secret society. Panicked and desperate, Ranger enlists Prewitt in the fight to defend his family’s honor and fortune. Et voilà! The trap is set.
With his team of eccentric Parisian con artists, Prewitt gets to work. But the closer he gets, the more the con unravels. Ancient betrayals, priceless jewels, and forbidden loves . . . the Courtemanches turn out to be a lot more than Prewitt bargained for.
Inspired by the outrageous true story of a wildly audacious con.

Prewitt Patry studied art before he realized he could earn money easier through cons. He was managing behind the scenes, enjoying a middle-class life with a wife above his station and a wonderful son. Prewitt feels his work is acceptable since he goes after bullies and bad guys. Then Prewitt tried to expose a superior for the con the man was doing. Instead, the man framed Prewitt for the con ruining his marriage as his wife took their son and returned to her wealthy father.

Now Prewitt struggles to pay the rent, much less the exorbitant alimony and support to his wife. As his son turns 18, he announces he has been accepted into Harvard. How can Prewitt obtain funds to pay tuition? He needs to find a big con!

Prewitt and his ‘bank’, Mace discover there are historically connected jewels with a family in France. Prewitt heads to France to con a man in his castle. There is a crew of characters to help Prewitt but he soon finds himself warming up to the mark and his two sisters.

The story is written in third person present tense which I had to get used to. I enjoyed the descriptions and the connection to history that is revealed. The story is engaging and has a good twist at the end. Although entertained, I have to admit that I wasn’t totally comfortable with the main character as I do not believe in theft and lies. I recommend this to fans of a good heist.

Source: August 2023 Received two ebooks from Alyssia Gonzalez at Publicist. This qualifies for 2023Review goal.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Audio Book Review: A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher

This is a charming story of a 14-year-old magical baker.
A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking
Author T. Kingfisher
Narrator: Patricia Santomasso

Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking, T. Kingfisher

Duration: 8 h 30 min
Release Date October 2021
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Middle Grade, Mysteries
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.5; Narration 4.5.

Publisher's summary
Fourteen-year-old Mona isn't like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can't control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter, and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt's bakery making gingerbread men dance.
But Mona's life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona's city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target. And in an embattled city suddenly bereft of wizards, the assassin may be the least of Mona's worries....
©2020 T. Kingfisher (P)2021 Tantor

Mona enjoys her magical skills to help in her aunt’s bakery. She occasionally entertains customers with dancing gingerbread men and in the basement is a mostly friendly bucket of sourdough starter, “Bob”, that they feed and it shares dough with her. Other than that, Mona isn’t inclined to think about magic.

One early morning. Mona arrives at the bakery to start cooking and she discovers a dead girl on the floor. The authorities take Mona to the Queen to have her sentenced for the murder. However, the Queen is aware that there are other forces at work and she releases Mona because she sees she isn’t the killer.

Coming home Mona meets a young boy in distress over the loss of his sister in the bakery. They realize that the girl, who had magical skills, may have been killed instead of Mona. Soon Mona and other gifted people in the community are leaving or going into hiding to avoid being assassinated or captured by the constables and authorities who are turning against wizards.

Mona and her new young friend, Spindle, eventually sneak into the castle to take their suspicions of a coup attempt to the Queen. With the military wizard out of the area and the local, elderly wizard under attack, the battle lands in the hands of Mona and her baked troops, including a gingerbread on her shoulder and ‘dough Bob’ in angry mode.

I enjoyed the characters of Mona, Spindle, the queen and the unique magical friends that help them. There is good pacing and action in this fun, entertaining, and charming story. I was glad to pick up several more books to try by this author. This story does have killing and battle, but I think it is still suitable for middle graders. I recommend this to fans of light magical challenges.

Audio Notes:
Patricia Santomasso does a lovely job with the narration. She provides clear voices with emotions that fit the characters. The narration enhanced my enjoyment, and I would be glad to listen to more stories narrated by Ms. Santomasso.

Source: May 5, 2022 Two for One Deal Credit at This qualifies for 2023TBR and 2023Audiobook goals.


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