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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Book Review: Wild Horse Springs (Ransom Canyon) by Jodi Thomas

This is a fun contemporary romance with the plus of a mystery and touch of danger.
Wild Horse Springs (Ransom Canyon)
by Jodi Thomas
File Size: 2546 KB
Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (February 1, 2017)
Genre: Contemporary, Small Town Romance, Mystery
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

In the heart of Ransom Canyon, sometimes the right match for a lonely soul is the one you least expect
Dan Brigman may not lead the most exciting life, but he's proud of what he's achieved: he's a respected lawman, and he's raised a bright, talented daughter on his own. But finding a lone, sparkly blue boot in the middle of a deserted highway gets him thinking maybe the cowgirl who lost it is exactly the shake-up he needs.
After losing her baby girl, Brandi Malone felt like her soul died along with her daughter. Now singing in small-town bars to make ends meet, she's fine being a drifter—until a handsome sheriff makes her believe that parking her boots under his bed is a better option.
College grad Lauren Brigman has just struck out on her own in downtown Dallas when a troubling phone call leads her back home to Crossroads. Her hometown represents her family, friends and deepest hopes, but also her first love, Lucas Reyes. Will Lauren's homecoming be another heartbreak, or a second chance for her and Lucas?

This is a fun, easy read, small town romance. Dan is a great character who brought smiles to my face from the very first pages.

Dan is a respectable lawman whose wife walked out on him years ago. At least he had his wonderful daughter, Lauren, to watch over, raising her on his own and even allowing her to study and work at the sheriff’s office. Dan hasn’t had much to do with women since. When he finds a sparkly, fancy cowgirl boot in the road he wonders what it would be like to meet the kind of wild woman who would wear those boots. He tracks her down and finds Brandi Malone mesmerizing the locals with her singing in a local tavern. It is lust, if not love, at first side.

Thatcher, a young man who has been adopted by the town as an abandoned boy, has been accused of shop lifting and assault. He didn’t steal the groceries but was really returning them. But he did punch the grocer and he is not going to tell the sheriff the rest of the story. Lauren gets word that Thatcher is in jail and feels she must come home to watch over him and get matters straightened out. Because things look dicey, Lauren calls on the one lawyer she is sure she can count on, at least for law, if not for commitment. Lucas is a successful lawyer but was Lauren’s cowboy, high school sweetheart before college and life took them on separate paths. There is still a strong ember between them but they are both a little gun-shy feeling abandoned by the other.

Cody Winslow is haunted by his last gun fight as a Texas Ranger. He has not been able to out run his demons and nightmares. Riding hard along the canyon at night he ends up thrown from his horse into the canyon. Lucky for him, Tess, a park ranger, and her handful of 5 and 6 year old campers, find him and get him aid. Now Tess is taking charge of his house while he is healing in the hospital and Cody is thinking he might have something to live for if he can just keep hold of this bossy, strong minded woman.

All three character lines converge as the book progresses and drug thugs try to kidnap Thatcher from jail. Thatcher is actually protecting a little girl but didn’t want to tell Dan about it until it was clear the child is in more danger.

I have read historical romances by Ms. Thomas and enjoyed them a lot. She writes with reasonable, well flowing plots that include a little mystery, a good dose of humor, likeable characters and sweet to sassy romance. I was, of course, rooting for the HEA for Dan and Brandi, Cody and Tess, and Lauren and Lucas. The relationships that resolve are sweet and heartwarming. I recommend this as a fun romance for readers of contemporary romance and for mystery readers who like romance.

I received this from the publisher through NetGalley; it qualifies for my NetGalley Challenge.

Sharing Beyond Books #312 Comment Giveaway July 22, 2017

Hello again and Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books, SBB!

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.
Ten commenters could not relate their personal life to the books they are reading. Six commenters could relate in some way to the books they are reading, either to a character trait or experience, or recipes.


The Winner from SBB #311 comments is: #3 Becky 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 #312
(One Question.)

Natalija asks: Do you believe in love at first sight??
I have to say that I do. Although I didn't fall in love the first night I met my hubby, he seemed to fall in love with me from that very first night. He asked me to marry hiim a week later. I asked him to wait a month since I had recently broken off another relationship. He did ask me a month later and we were married four months after we met. <3 span="">
Image result for Love at first sight
Image found at

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. Natalija asks: Do you believe in love at first sight??

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 July 29, 2017 at 5 PM central.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Audible Book Review: The Days of Noah: Book One: Conspiracy by Mark Goodwin

This is an interesting story full of political conspiracies and a compelling view of what could happen in America in the near future.
The Days of Noah: Book One: Conspiracy
Written by: Mark Goodwin
Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
Series: The Days of Noah, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:11-13-14
Publisher: Goodwin America Corp.
Genre: Futuristic, Sci Fi, Political Conspiracy, Christian
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
Could we be living in a time of which there is more prophetic writings than of any period in history? Noah Parker, like many in the United States, has been asleep at the wheel. During his complacency, the founding precepts of America have been slowly, systematically destroyed by a conspiracy that dates back hundreds of years. The signs can no longer be ignored and Noah is forced to pull his head out of the sand and see things for what they really are. Has his awakening come too late or can he and those around him reclaim the freedoms and principles which have been lost? Watch through the eyes of Noah Parker and his family as a global empire takes shape, ancient writings are fulfilled and the last days fall upon the once great, United States of America. The Days of Noah, Book One: Conspiracy is a fast paced fiction thriller which looks at how modern conspiracies might play into Biblical prophecy about the end times.
©2014 Goodwin America Corp. (P)2014 Goodwin America Corp.

I had been eyeing Mr. Goodwin’s work for a while and I am glad to have listened to this. The story follows two lines of characters to present a plausible theory of government manipulation by a secret group of powerful players.

Noah and his wife, Cassie, are Christian believers living fairly normal lives. He is a teacher and she works with a newspaper while homeschooling their seven-year old daughter, Lacy. Cassie has a strong belief that freedoms are being encroached on and will only become more limited. She is a 'prepper' planning with food stores, guns and some investments in precious metals. The couple belong to a small group from their church and many of them are quiet preppers too.

One day Noah’s students are discussing demolition and the possibilities that the 9/11 bombings were set internally and not a terrorist attack. Another day the forbidden topic of creation is raised in Noah’s class room. Noah merely states that some people believe that creation is a sounder ‘theory” than evolution. Noah is arrested for violating the government course curriculum restrictions.

While friends step forward to help bail Noah out of jail, authorities force their way into his home in a traumatic scene, killing their dog, confiscating guns and computers and placing Lacy in the clutches of a social services officer. Some of the officers realize that the government has gone too far and they quit their positions to support Noah and Cassie. Church friends find a good lawyer to fight the criminal and parental abuse charges and they all help set up a protest against the officers who bullied Cassie.

The second line of the story follows Elliot as an Intelligence Officer with the CIA. Elliot’s job is to monitor unusual purchases of firearms, ammunition, long term food storage, tactical supplies, gold and silver and components for explosives. Elliot reports some concerns regarding cryptocurrency purchases to his supervisor, John Jones. Although Jones downplays Elliot’s concerns he soon starts meeting with Elliot in secret and telling him to prepare for drastic changes.

I have read other near future, ‘America in crisis’ stories but most did not have the extent of conspiracy theories this book presents. The author creates likeable characters and I was pulled into the good pacing of events while rooting for the protagonists. I liked the combination of the faith beliefs and the all too plausible political possibilities. I recommend this to others who are interested in erosion of American freedoms and possible events leading up to end of the world times, or at least end of the world as we know it.

Audio Notes: Kevin Pierce has become one of the “go to” narrators for sci fi and prepper stories. Pierce does a solid job narrating the characters so, after a rather slow beginning, they become real, placing the listener in the story. I enjoyed listening to this story and look forward to more in the series.

I chose this from my Audible shelves for TBR challenge, Audio Book Challenge for "D" in Alphabet Soup Challenge.

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick Giveaway July 21, 2017

Happy Friday!
Gosh - I don't know where this week went. Just push every night.


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 July 7 Pick. There were no automatic wins this week. Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times without other people asking for that book during those weeks. There was one title blocked.

to picked Winners from July 7 Pick:
JANHVI gets a GC.
CAROLNW gets Deep Freeze.

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.}

Cozies would be lovely for summer reading!
Image found at Cozy

New Book Group #73 June 16, 2017
I was looking for Summer titles but that didn’t really work.
PAIRS [or Singles] – Since I have four sets of pairs I will work this by first two pairs that go the others go as singles OR you may choose a title as a single and if won that pair falls into single.
Joan Johnston: The Loner and the Cowboy -- Moved to singles
Nora Roberts: Sea Swept (some spine creases) and Genuine Lies
Kat Martin: Midnight Sun and Perfect Sin
Linda Howard (aka Krista Janssen): Cry No More and Indigo Fire (spine wear) -- Moved to singles
The Loner by Joan Johnston
The Cowboy by Joan Johnston
Cry No More by Linda Howard
Indigo Fire by Linda Howard (spine wear)
Garden of Scandal by Jennifer Blake
A Rogue’s Heart by Debra Lee Brown
The Night Remembers by Kathleen Eagle (spine wear)
A Dragon Prince by Mary Gillgannon
Hurricane by Karen Harper
A Kiss Before Dawn by Kimberly Logan
Sail by James Patterson
Home Sweet Home by Bella Riley

New Book Group #72 May 12, 2017
Brenda Joyce: The Third Heiress and The Rival
Jayne Ann Krentz: Dangerous Affair and True Colors
Identity: Unknown by Suzanne Brockmann
The Third Victim by Lisa Gardner
Anna’s Book by Barbara Vine (Audio Cassette)
Passions Treasure by Betina Krahn
My Reckless Surrender by Anna Campbell
Led Astray By A Rake by Sara Bennett
Deep Freeze by Lisa Jackson
Rainbow Mars by Larry Niven
Bound by Destiny by Rayka Mennen
Valley of Bones by Eric Wilson
Memorial Day by Vince Flynn (Hardcover)
The Fireman’s Fair by Josephine Humphreys (Hardcover

New Book Group #71 March 10, 2017
Mysteries and Thrillers
There Was A Little Girl by Ed McBain (Audio Cassettes)

New Book Group #70 January 27, 2017
Thought I’d share some romances for February:
Kissed by Shadows (Get Connected Romances) by Jane Feather
Love's Brazen Fire by Betina Krahn

New Book Group #69 November 18, 2016

Some books for Christmas: 
Jingle Bell Blessings by Bonnie K. Winn
Snowbound with Mr. Right by Judy Christenberry

New Book Group #68 October 28, 2016
Plan of Attack by Dan Brown

New Book Group #67 September 9, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Book Group #61 October 30, 2015 -- All Gone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BOX 3 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 39- 47)

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

BOX 2 2015 (reboxed from Boxes 24- 38)

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

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

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

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

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

I am happy to say that so far about 1,083+ books have found new homes! YAY. I have to update my print out to check the exact number sent out - a few were never claimed. I periodically update the lists - deleting those won. You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see older posts and the older lists book pictures if you want!

Note rules here regarding international entries.
Because postage to overseas can be prohibitive I am willing to give a $5.00 book certificate to international winners - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, ARe, TWRP, ClassAct Books, eTreasures, Desert Breeze, tell me where and I'll set it up. So for my overseas visitors your comment may indicate a smaller book and I'll check postage or note your choice of gift card.

I learned that The Book Depository does not ship to everywhere. The postage for some of the books to far away places runs between $7.00 and $10.00 and up. Since I would award $5.00 for The Book Depository to an international winner, as an alternative you may choose a smaller book and we will hope the postage will not exceed $6.00. If the postage is more, or if you want to pick a larger book and you are willing to pay any extra postage beyond the $6.00 I will work with you on that. This may not make a difference to many but if it helps one or two of you to give one of my books a home that will make me happy too. :o)

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tour Book Review: Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar

This is a lovely, uplifting collection of poems and encouraging affirmations.
Poetry and Ponderings: A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry
by Diamante Lavendar
File Size: 4355 KB
Print Length: 138 pages
Publisher: Written Dreams Publishing; 1 edition (April 26, 2017)
Genre: Poetry, Inspirational
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0

From Award-winning author of Breaking the Silence, Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar
A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry

A raw collection of religious poetry and prose based on one Christian woman’s experiences of being abused, and how she healed herself with God’s love in order to move past the assaults.
In this rare collection of nonfiction Christian poetry and prose based on real life experiences, Diamante Lavendar, a victim of abuse, shows the reader the raw emotions of pain, hate, and denial that occur before a victim of abuse can find a way to heal from the pains of assault. Knowing herself the very difficult journey of being a victim, Diamante was abused as a child, and turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. Many years later, she started to heal under God’s watchful eyes and was able to find love in her life again. She shares these truly inspiring, religious poems in the hopes that it may help other victims heal their hurts, as she did while writing the poetry collection.

When this book was offered for review I sensed it would be one I would like. As I started to read it this was confirmed. Some of the poems reflect a foundation of faith, trust, healing and hope in God. Others reflect emotional memories and positive views to face the future.

I have not suffered through abuse and I certainly cannot imagine what Ms. Lavendar’s childhood of abuse was like and the pain she came through. She does not make it graphic but she does share enough to give the reader a feeling of sorrow for the sadness of a child denied love and protection. Somewhere along her journey she found faith, healing and the beauty of love. She shares this beauty and wonderful positive encouragements in this book.

Not all the affirmations are ‘new’ thoughts but they are beautifully worded and reminded me of encouragement cards I used to buy for friends in my youth. I could share many of the affirmations but one I particularly like is on page 117: “Hardships are often gifts in roughly presented packages.”

One of my favorite of the poems was the second poem, on page 2, Take Time to Know Me. This is a poem where God encourages His child to stop and look around at creation and see Him there and know His love. Another is Laughter, on page 110, which encourages finding laughter on a hard, trying day as it will help you triumph over the trial.

I soon thought of several friends to whom I would like to gift this book as I know they would appreciate the positive beauty and affirmations of life and love. I highly recommend this to anyone who needs a lifting word and to those who just want to experience the beauty of recognizing joy in the journey, no matter how difficult.

I am thankful to the author and tour to have received this print book for tour review through Poetic Book Tours.

Advance Praise:
Poetry and Ponderings is the most loving and beautiful dedication to Diamante Lavendar's daughter. Anybody who has gone through a grieving time needs to read this classic expression of love and devotion. I tip my hat to the author for this marvelous collection of wisdom, insight and truth. -Mel Novak, Actor, Best known for his role in Bruce Lee's Game Of Death.

Tragedy turned triumph. Poetry and Ponderings beautifully leads the reader from gut wrenching pain to glorious freedom and healing. A must read for survivors and those who love them. -Sarah Boes, Founder of More Precious Than Rubies, reaching victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

Diamante's Poetry and Ponderings are an affirmation, and flow to the close of her book with the summation of her awakening. She has, in each poem, walked us through to her understanding and acceptance; we are the creation of God's breath, as souls to live life to the fullest, and with forgiveness...'Writing is her way of leaving her mark: one poem, one story at a time.' This book achieves this endeavor. -Sam Eastwood, International Poet

About the Poet:

Diamante Lavendar has been in love with reading since she was a child. Diamante believes that everyone should try to leave their own positive mark on the world, and to make it a better place for all. Writing is her way of leaving her mark—one story at a time. She began writing in college and has published poetry in anthologies over the years. Most of her writing is very personal and stems from her own experiences, and those of her family and friends. She writes to encourage hope and possibility to those who read her stories. To learn more about Diamante Lavendar and her books, please visit her website at:


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