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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Audible Book Review: Open Season by C. J. Box

I enjoyed the mystery and the endangered species aspects of this story.
Open Season
By: C. J. Box
Narrator: David Chandler

Series: Joe Pickett, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
Release date: 02-14-11
Genre: Ecology, Mystery, Suspense
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0.

Publisher's Summary
Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden—especially one like Joe who won't take bribes or look the other way—is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitter, with whom he's had run-ins before, chose his backyard, his woodpile to die in. Even after the "outfitter murders," as they have been dubbed by the local press after the discovery of the two more bodies, are solved, Joe continues to investigate, uneasy with the easy explanation offered by the local police.
As Joe digs deeper into the murders, he soon discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his backdoor: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. But if word of the existence of this endangered species gets out, it will destroy any chance of InterWest, a multi-national natural gas company, building an oil pipeline that would bring the company billions of dollars across Wyoming, through the mountains and forests of Twelve Sleep. The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything he holds dear.
©2001 C.J. Box (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

Joe Pickett decided as a young boy that he wanted to be a game warden. It isn’t a glamorous or well paying job, but he gets to be outdoors, protecting the ecosystem. He is a new game warden struggling to make ends meet with his pregnant wife and two young daughters. Joe’s trying to do his job the right way without corruption or bribes.

Joe is surprised when his seven-year-old daughter tells him there is a man behind the woodpile. When Joe investigates, he discovers a dead local outfitter. A neighboring game warden, a local deputy and Joe go into the mountain to find the camp of the dead man’s friends. They discover more dead hunters and a survivor gets shot at the site. The local sheriff’s office is quick to declare the severely wounded survivor as the murderer and to close the case. Joe suspects there is a reason this hunter, with whom he had a prior run-in, chose his home to run to. He continues to push into the background, unknowingly stirring up trouble.

Joe doesn’t realize initially that the outfitter left something else in the woodpile as his daughter discovers the creatures and keeps them as secret pets. But someone else knows and is willing to lie, threaten and even kill to keep the secret. As Joe begins to suspect there is an endangered, maybe even thought extinct, species involved in the murders. Can Joe gather the facts he needs to show the truth before his career is ruined and his family suffers physical harm?

Joe is portrayed as a ‘regular Joe’ who sometimes feels inadequate. He plods along determined to uncover the truth. The story slowly, but steadily builds the suspense and danger to Joe and his family to the point where I was catching my breath. I enjoyed the scenes with Joe’s daughters and the critters. I appreciated the facts regarding the job of a game warden and the regulation details regarding endangered and extinct species. The author also explains the negative impact that the community will experience once an extinct species is disclosed. The dilemma between nature and man is an interesting element of the story. Meanwhile, the villains are disgusting and the corruption disturbing. There is foul language which is too bad. The writing is clearly written from a male viewpoint and it flows easily. I enjoyed the mystery and recommend this to crime suspense fans.

Source: August 23, 2017, Audible Daily Deal $2.95. This qualifies for 2020TBR and 2020Audiobook goals.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

#NetGalley Book Review: Honor in an Age of Metal and Men by Anthony W. Eichenlaub

This is a good conclusion to the series, with lots of twists.
Honor in an Age of Metal and Men
by Anthony W. Eichenlaub
50861693. sx318 sy475
Publisher : Oak Leaf Cemetery (December 5, 2019)
Print Length : 197 pages
Publication Date : December 5, 2019
File Size : 2117 KB
Genre: Cyberpunk, Futuristic,Sci-Fi, Western
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0.

War blazes all around, but it's not J.D.'s war. Not this time.
There are two bounties out for Francis William Brown. One alive. One dead. J.D. finally catches the man he's been after all these years when Francis comes without hardly a fight.
But it ain't ever that simple. A bullet in the skull would be proper for what Francis has done but keeping him alive might be the key to ending the war that's tearing Texas apart. J.D. needs to decide if keeping a promise and ending the war is worth the risk of seeing the worst criminal in the history of Texas walk free.
An itch at the back of his skull tells him that maybe all this is part of Francis' plan.
Will he kill Francis in cold blood, or is there still Honor in an Age of Metal and Men?

J.D. is an ‘older’ survivor of Texas and the wars that devastated the country. J.D. reluctantly works with a metal arm while others around him embrace multiple tech modifications to enhance their bodies. J.D. is a retired sheriff who believes in justice, peace, and honor even though they are difficult concepts to hold onto. J.D. still works sporadically as a bounty hunter and when a contract is issued regarding his long-time nemesis Francis Brown. Actually, there are two bounties – one to bring Francis in alive and one to bring him in dead.

J.D. has a twisted history with Frances since the days when J.D. shot his mother when Frances was only a boy. Over the years Frances has become a notorious criminal and J.D. feels the guilt. As he tries to bring Frances in alive, he gets saddled with a teen girl who claims Frances promised to get her out of her hometown. J.D. faces another bounty hunter group who is willing to bring Frances in dead. If that isn’t enough struggle, J.D. and his replacement, Sheriff Trish, uncover a deadly plot by another crime lord, Casket Jones, that puts the bounty situation on hold. It will take combined efforts of the ‘honorable’ and not so honorable to stop a devastating war crime.

The first book in the series, Justice in an Age of Metal and Men, laid out the characters and the history that supports this conclusion. I may have missed adventures and more conflict by not reading book two, but it wasn’t needed to enjoy this one. I enjoy the creativity and cyberpunk elements of the story. Also, Mr. Eichenlaub mixes a healthy dose of humor with the suspenseful danger. The plot twists are anticipated but still a good surprise when they arrive. I recommend this book to fans of cyberpunk, western and suspense.

This is my last NetGalley book received in 2019. (It only took eight months to get it read!) This qualifies for 2020TBR, 2020NetGalley and Alphabet goals.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Sunday Post September 13, 2020/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday September 14, 2020

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.

I was swamped with one file work this week and trying to fit in other letters and pleadings. The new blogger editor is making me work extra long as it doesn't align nicely and I have to add in all the line breaks and extra coding for the images. Ugh.

I stepped out 9/10 and heard this bird before I located it high in the tree.
Listen carefully beyond the screetchy birds and you will hear the knock, knock, knock at about 9 seconds in.

I had to really crop in to show the woodpecker on the underside of the short branch on the right.

Our weather has cooled a bit especially as we get regular rains.
I have been enjoying reading/listening. I finished two audiobooks and moved along on my NetGalley title. I posted four reviews and my usual memes.

I visited 17 blogs last week.
Shout Out this week to Book Reviews by Linda Moore. Linda has been busier posting this year than in prior years and she is linking up at Mailbox Monday. Stop by and say "hi". :-)

Don't forget- Audible is offering free children's titles during these days at home. is also offering free listens for children.

These were last week's posts:
  • A2020- Audible Book Review: Agent 355 by Marie Benedict; Genre: Historical Fiction; My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.5; Narration 4.5.
  • A2020- Audible Book Review: Snowflakes by Ruth Ware; Genre: Collection, Mystery, Short Story, Thriller & Suspense; My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 4.0.
  • ATBR- Audio Book Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner; Genre: Action & Adventure, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Romance; My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.5; Narration 4.5.

Finished Reading:
1. Audible/Smartphone (ATBR)

Open Season
By: C. J. Box
Narrator: David Chandler
Duration: 7 hrs and 49 mins
I enjoyed the mystery and the endangered species aspects of this story. 
Source: August 23, 2017, Audible Daily Deal $2.95.
Click on book title for full description.

2. Audible/Smartphone (ATBR)
Dead Rising

Dead Rising
The Templar, Volume 1
By: Debra Dunbar
Narrated by: Elizabeth Phillips
Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins

This is a vampire story with a twist.
Source: 7/28/2019 Chirp Deal $.99.

(Hard to resist an audiobook for $.99.)
Publisher's Summary
Solaria Ainsworth was born a Templar, destined to take up the mantle of responsibility and duty as her family's Order had done for hundreds of years. Except she refuses to take her Oath of Knighthood.
Barely making ends meet in Baltimore, Aria finds it difficult to obtain gainful employment with no work experience and skills in jousting and swordsmanship. Just before she's served an eviction notice, the Mistress of the local vampire family offers her a job - to research a magical symbol. It's an easy task for a woman who has spent every moment of her life either in armor, or with her nose in ancient manuscripts. The money's good, and the seven day deadlines should be no problem. But when her research reveals a sordid connection between the vampires and a mass murder, Aria needs to decide who is in the right and worthy of her protection. Modern Templars believe only God should judge, but Aria must do exactly that, or watch the Baltimore streets run red with blood.
©2016 Debra Dunbar (P)2016 Debra Dunbar

Currently Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle (NG2020)
52180507. sx318 sy475

Kit and Elizabeth
by Karen Tuft
This is a delightful, easy Regency romance.
Source: NetGalley (2019 request received 2020).
Click on book title for full description.

2. Audible/Smartphone (ATBR)
Interview with the Robot audiobook cover art

Interview with the Robot
By: Lee Bacon
Narrated by: Kevin T. Collins, Ellen Archer, Josh Hurley, Eileen Stevens, Erin Mallon, Jonathan Davis, Stephen Bel Davies
Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
This is a fun listen before I (maybe) get into a more serious auidobook.
1/24/2020 Second January Free Audible Original.

About This Audible Original
Ages 10+
Fugitive. Criminal. Robot.
A sci-fi adventure for young listeners, Interview with the Robot introduces a unique heroine who seeks the truth about herself.
Eve looks like an ordinary 12-year-old girl, but there’s nothing ordinary about her. She has no last name. No parents or guardian. She’s on the run from a dangerous and secretive organization that will stop at nothing to track her down.
And most astonishing of all: she’s a robot, a product of Eden Laboratories. When Eve discovers the truth, she realizes everything she thought she knew about herself is a lie. Eve manages to escape, fleeing the lab, the only home she’s ever known.
After being arrested for shoplifting, Eve is interviewed by Petra Amis from Child Welfare Services. Her incredible story unfolds during the interrogation, with flashbacks to her life inside Eden Laboratories, which has a dark secret. Listeners follow Eve from her first consciousness to her evolution as a nearly-human companion to Emory, the son of the founder of Eden Laboratories.
Exploring a range of topics that drive our society and our lives—topics such as artificial intelligence and human nature—Interview with the Robot is a story told by a startlingly original protagonist, a story that explores the vast potential of technology and the deep complexities of humanity.
Interview with the Robot comes to life with a multicast performance including Eileen Stevens as Eve, Ellen Archer as Petra Amis, Jonathan Davis as David Sharp, Kevin T. Collins as Emory Sharp, Josh Hurley as a Boswell employee, Erin Mallon as a device/robot and female barista, and Steven Bel Davies as a store clerk, hotel employee, and office clerk.
©2019 Lee Bacon (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC

I expect to get to another audio which I'll pick when I get there. I find myself running through about five choices before I decide :-) Same with the next ebook although it will be one of my NetGalley titles.

I'm keeping track of my Alphabet here as I finish the books. These are the letters that remain:
NETGALLEY:  H  M  U X  Y and Z
AUDIO:             X  and  Z

September 13, 2020 - I got behind and had to catch up again. I am still struggling to keep up to date. Bleh to me.
I am again enjoying the devotions and readings with the One Year Bible plan through You Version App. I considered changing but this is the reading group that is closest to my husband's reading so we can sometimes discuss the same passages.
Maybe this week I will start the 3-day study this week: Even Now From Life.Church Worship.

I completed two books and posted four reviews. I have three review for this week.
My NetGalley shelf remains at 6, two current and the four titles from 2012-13 which I still hope to read this year.
I have added no new author review titles this week. I still have one carry over author ebook left. I have two audiobooks from authors. I feel good getting caught up on these books.
Still many titles through InstaFreebie and many new author requests I haven't replied to.

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.
No new review titles this week.

Someday I'll check the email requests I have been receiving. {Sigh.}
I bought one Audible Credit and one discounted Audible title.
And I added another 6 Audible Plus titles this week! 
I have to pick up my second Audible Credit this week, my September VIP at and use a credit at before 10/3. I am eyeing their Audiobook Clubs which allows you to use a credit for a club grouping and you can listen to any of the books in that group for that month. I may do this soon as even if I only get to listen to two or three a month, it is still a value gain.
Only five free Kindle titles this week.
(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


One August 2020 Audible Credit
The Harbinger II audiobook cover art
The Harbinger II: The Return
By: Jonathan Cahn
Narrated by: Lawrence Richardson

Series: The Harbinger, Book 2

Free Kindle and Audible for $.49.
On the Duty of Civil Disobedience audiobook cover art

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
By: Henry David Thoreau
Narrated by: Jim Killavey
Length 1h 3m

Free Audible Plus Titles:
1984: New Classic Edition
By: George Orwell
Narrated by: Simon Prebble
Length 11h 22m

Countdown: A Prequel Story to Patient Zero
By: Jonathan Maberry
Narrated by: Ray Porter
Series: Joe Ledger, Book 0.5
length 19m

Zombie Fallout: Zero (I have listened to Book 1))
By: Mark Tufo
Narrated by: Sean Runnette
Series: Zombie Fallout, Book 0.5
Length 2h 44m

Sheryl Crow: Words + Music
By: Sheryl Crow
Narrated by: Sheryl Crow
Length 1h 37m

Murder by Other Means: The Dispatcher, Book 2
I'm excited to get book two in this series. By: John Scalzi
Narrated by: Zachary Quinto
Series: The Dispatcher, Book 2
Length 3h 33m

The Capture: Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book One
By: Kathryn Lasky
Narrated by: Pamela Garelick
Series: Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Book 1
Length 5h 43m

Five free Kindle titles this week. Free titles often found at Bookbub, Bookfun, Ereader News Today, Free Par-tay, Ignite Your Book, Inspired Reads, Pixel of Ink or Kindle ebooks.

Sunday Words of Encouragement September 13, 2020

We again enjoyed sharing worship and praise with our church family by engaging online. Pastor continued his sermon series on God’s Promises. Today's promise is “Victory”.

We are told that nothing can separate us from the Love of God. Romans 8:35-39. But as humans we tend to wonder and doubt: “What about this?” or “What about that?” But for believers, there are no doubts about it…. through every evil attack, God promises victory.

Who can win battles against this world? 1 John 5:5 tells us it is those who believe Jesus is the Son of God.

The Point: As a child of God you are guaranteed victory over every evil in this world.

There are no “what abouts?” for those who believe and have a grounded faith. For every child of God, an overwhelming victory is ours. Romans 8:37.

Pray and claim your victory!

We are excited this month to be contributing to the FireBible project – buying Bibles this year for Sri Lanka.
This old time hymn came to mind: Victory In Jesus  
Verses for Today:
Romans 8:35-39 (NIV)
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 5:4-5 (NIV)
4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Lord, I give You thanks that I can trust You to give me victory in any trial I may face.

Romans 8:35-39 - Can Anything Separate Us from Christ? - Eva Conner

1 John 5:4 | Words To Renew The Soul

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Audio Book Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

I was impressed by this creative Beauty and the Beast retelling!
By Meagan Spooner
Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld, Will Damron
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date: March 2017
Duration: 9 hours 20 minutes
Genre: Action & Adventure, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Romance
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.5; Narration 4.5.

New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner spins a thoroughly thrilling Beauty and the Beast story for the modern age, expertly woven with spellbinding romance, intrigue, and suspense that readers won’t soon be able to forget.
Beauty knows the Beast's forest in her bones—and in her blood. After all, her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering its secrets. So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters out of their comfortable home among the aristocracy and back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas . . . or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. The Beast.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange creature back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of magical creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin, or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Yeva, nicknamed Beauty, has always loved the forest and hunting since her father taught her how to hunt as a child. But over the years he became a wealthy merchant and his daughters had to behave properly for society and hopefully to secure a favorable marriage. When her father is told that he has lost his fortune he moves the family back to their cottage in the forest.

Yeva is happy to be back in the forest but frustrated that her father won’t allow her to go out hunting with him. He has become obsessed with finding the rumored monster known as “The Beast”. When her father fails to come home Yeva finally sets out to find him. She goes deeper and deeper in the woods, stumbling through the snow. At the point of exhaustion, she comes to face with The Beast. The Beast believes that Beauty can save him from the curse that he can’t speak of. He shows her his cursed valley, crumbling castle and a world of creatures in the magical realm. Beauty is drawn to a magical creature from her childhood fairy tale stories. She realizes that creature has a crucial role in freeing The Beast or maybe freeing Beauty from the Beast.

I found this story wonderfully creative. It has basic similarities but is distinct from the well-known fairy-tale version. The story builds slowly but is worth getting into the depths. The tone is dark which fits the strong character of The Beast. Beauty is a strong-minded character too although there are times she is young and foolish. I enjoyed the twists and I really liked the views of The Beast that are interspersed between the story following Beauty. I will be looking to read/listen to more retellings from Ms. Spooner. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys fairy tale retellings.

Audio Notes: Saskia Maarleveld and Will Damron do a wonderful job on the narration. Saskia delivers the majority of the story with energy and emotion. Then Will steps in with the dark, growling nature of The Beast. Very well done and I found it all entertaining. I’m glad that I listened to this.

Source: March 2019 TWO FOR ONE Fairy Tale Fantasies with my February credit. This qualifies for 2020TBR and 2020Audiobook goals.


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