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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Book Review: 200 by Jennifer Brody

This interesting graphic novel ends with fitting sci fi irony.
by Jennifer Brody, Jules Rivera (Illustrator)


• Publisher : Keylight Books (February 16, 2021)
• Language : English
• ISBN-10 : 1684424224
• Print page Numbers : 128
Genre: Dystopian Graphic Novels, Sci Fi
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0.

It’s Eva Thorne’s 200th birthday.
But it’s not a celebration, more like a funeral. Eva lives in a world where the Cure for aging and illness has been discovered and administered to every person on Earth, only there’s one big hitch. It turns out that very few people can handle immortality, so they have to take a test on their two hundredth birthday. If they pass, then they get to live forever. But if they fail, they must be euthanized.
Eva’s not an optimist. In fact, she’s pretty sure that she’s going to fail her Centurial Assessment Test. For starters, almost nobody passes anymore. She’s seen the news stories. But than more than that, Eva can tell that she’s already starting to slip mentally. Ever since the Escorts took her husband Owen away for his test a little over six months ago and he never came back, she’s been chain smoking cigarettes (they can’t kill her after all), binge drinking, and waiting for the Escorts to get it over with already.
Who wants to live forever if you have to do it alone?
Here’s the truth—Owen was her husband for over 170 years. He was her soulmate. Her lover. Her goofball best friend. Her partner in crime. Her everything. But on the way to her testing room, Eva glimpses a staffer who resembles her husband. Suddenly, she has to find out the truth about what really happened to him. Suddenly, she has a reason to live. Did he pass his test? Does he get to live forever? Can Eva join him for this next part of their lives? Or is she destined to fail her test and be euthanized?
Now Eva must escape from the testing facility and find out if her husband passed his test—and what he’s been doing for the past six months. With the Escorts hunting her down, she kidnaps the staffer and drags him to the roof, discovering that it’s Owen—only he can’t remember her because they wiped his memory. When you pass your CAT test, you must leave your old life behind. Eva must now find a way to him remember their life together, or lose him forever to his new immortal existence.

Eva and her husband and best friend, Owen, have been together for nearly 170 years. But as their 200th birthdays loom, they are distressed. In Eva’s world, when people turn 200, they are required to take a Centurial Assessment Test (CAT). If the person passes the test they get to live forever. But as far as the public knows, most people fail.

Eva convinces Owen to make bucket lists so they can do special things their last year. Owen takes his test and Eva believes he is dead. She struggles waiting for her CAT test date, wondering if she has a reason to live. As she enters the facility for her testing, she sees a staffer whom she is sure is Owen. He has no memory of Eva as his mind has been wiped. Eva is desperate to find out what truly happened to Owen, but to do that she has to escape the enforcers and force ‘Owen’ to escape with her. Will Eva be able to uncover the truth? Will she be able to pass the CAT test and gain the right to live forever?

This story has humor, excitement, a bit of sex, and the irony that is so often an element of sci fi. I enjoyed the twists which are anticipated but still a good surprise. The graphic images are engaging, sometimes bold and sometimes with starkness. There are sexual images that I could have done without, but they are quick and only a small part of the overall story. I recommend this as an entertaining, quick read for sci fi and graphic novel fans.

Source: 1/11/2021 Received from Turner Publishing Marketing. This qualifies for 2021Author ebook goal.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Sunday Post February 21, 2021/It's Monday! What are You Reading? Plus Mailbox Monday February 22, 2021

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.

Another week whisked by. Work keeps me busy at the office. Reading and blogging keep me occupied at home. In between there are a few hours setting up stock option trades and watching the market go up and down.

Another Saturday breakfast of my fav creamed dry beef:
Hubby doesn't really help my diet but I love breakfast and will not complain.

It was definitely colder this past week but I was praying for others, like Texas, with the power outages. Our weather warms up this week - 45 to 77 - and no rain expected.
I hope it warms up for everyone who has been too cold!

My listening was particularly good this past week. I finished one pdf book and three audiobooks;  posted three reviews and my usual memes.

I visited 17 blogs last week.
Shout Out this week to Bookidote. This is a bold looking blog co-blogged by Lashaan and Trang.

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:
Finished Reading:
1. PDF on Computer (Author Ebook 2021)

by Jennifer Brody, Jules Rivera (Illustrator)
This interesting graphic novel ends with sci fi irony.
Source: 1/11/2021 Received from Turner Publishing Marketing.
Click on book title for full description.

2. Audio/Smartphone (ATBR)
Book cover for Night Stalker by Shirlee McCoy

Night Stalker
by Shirlee McCoy
Read by Emily Durante
Run Time 5h 37min
This is a suspenseful thriller with a second chance romance.
Source: 12/6/2020 Chirp $3.99.

Click on book title for full description.

3. Audio/Smartphone (ATBR)
Smoke Bitten audiobook cover art

Smoke Bitten
A Mercy Thompson Novel, Book 12
By: Patricia Briggs
Narrated by: Lorelei King
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
Release date: 03-17-20
I was in the mood for werewolves. This is a favorite series!
4/13/2020 Audible March Credit.

Publisher's Summary
Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, faces a threat unlike any other in this thrilling entry in the number one New York Times best-selling series.
I am Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman.
My only “superpowers” are that I turn into a 35 pound coyote and fix Volkswagens. But I have friends in odd places and a pack of werewolves at my back. It looks like I'm going to need them.
Centuries ago, the fae dwelt in Underhill - until she locked her doors against them. They left behind their great castles and troves of magical artifacts. They abandoned their prisoners and their pets. Without the fae to mind them, those creatures who remained behind roamed freely through Underhill wreaking havoc. Only the deadliest survived.
Now one of those prisoners has escaped. It can look like anyone, any creature it chooses. But if it bites you, it controls you. It lives for chaos and destruction. It can make you do anything - even kill the person you love the most. Now it is here, in the Tri-Cities. In my territory.
It won't, can't, remain.
Not if I have anything to say about it.
©2020 Patricia Briggs (P)2020 Penguin Audio

4. Audio/Smartphone (ATBR)
Call to Arms audiobook cover art

Call to Arms
Black Fleet Trilogy, Book 2
By: Joshua Dalzelle
Narrated by: Mark Boyett
Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
Release date: 01-19-16
This military space story zipped by!
Source: 1/15/2020 December Audible Credits.

Publisher's Summary
From Joshua Dalzelle comes the follow-up to the number-one best seller Warship. Captain Jackson Wolfe survived the initial incursion of a vicious alien species into human space...barely. He had assumed the juggernaut that had devastated three Terran systems was the herald for a full invasion, but for the last few years it has been eerily quiet along the Frontier. Jackson now struggles to convince the Confederate leadership the threat is still imminent and needs to be taken seriously. While powerful factions make backroom deals, he is desperate to find irrefutable proof that the invaders are coming, and if humanity expects to survive they must marshal their forces and make a stand before it's too late.
©2015 Joshua Dalzelle (P)2016 Podium Publishing

Currently Reading:
1. Kindle App on/Smartphone (NG2020)
Time of the Rose (Twisted Rose Saga Book 1) by [Bonita Clifton]

Time of the Rose
by Bonita Clifton
I am enjoying this time travel romance.
Source: NetGalley 2020.

Click on book title for full description.

2. Audio/Smartphone (A2021)
Dorothy: A Madcap Regency Romance Audiobook By Anya Wylde cover art

Dorothy: A Madcap Regency Romance
The Fairweather Sisters, Book 3
By: Anya Wylde
Narrated by: Deryn Oliver
Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
Release date: 12-30-20
I'm ready for a dose of "madcap".
Source: February 2021 Author Code.

Publisher's Summary
Anya Wylde is back with yet another Fairweather sister novel full of comedy, adventure, and, of course, toe-curling romance.
The Fairweather sisters adore each other and always stand by one another. But when circumstances force Dorothy May Fairweather to marry Lord William Edmund Huxley - the man her best friend is in love with and the Duke’s arch enemy - things change.
With her one foolish mistake, Dorothy manages to vex all those that mean the most to her. Now all alone and miserable, Dorothy has to win back her sisters, the duke, her in-laws and her breathtakingly handsome new husband.
©2016 Anya Wylde (P)2020 Anya Wylde

3. eBook/Kindle App (Author 2021)
56058783. sy475

Frosted (Regency Retold #2)
by M.C. Frank
(Pretty cover don't you think?) This sounds like a fun romance adventure.
Source: Received from author. Release date is February 20, 2021. My review will post before March 12.

Can two people hate each other more than these two?
She has a heart of stone. He is the notorious pirate every lady swoons for.
They have vowed never to meet again.
Captain Timothée Vaughn
Heart: Broken
Face: Gorgeous
Tone: Acidic
Pirate: Yes, he is
Marital Status: Forced into an engagement
Willing to: Break his own arm to escape his wedding tomorrow.

Lady Stella DeWinter:
Heart: Frosted
Face: Angelic but sad
Tone: Silent
Secrets: Many, but one in particular. A very dark one indeed.
Marital Status: Jilted Captain Vaughn right before their wedding, five years ago.
Willing to: Do anything to meet Timothée one last time.

Question: Why? (on earth)
Meeting place: The Frosted Ball.
What follows: Chaos. Noisy ballrooms. Starry skies. White flurries. Hungry kisses. Haughty stares. Frozen lakes. Shaking breaths. The truth. Finally.

Frosted is a heart-wrenching romance about a pirate and an ice-cold lady who seem to have hated each other for years, inspired by winter-themed fairytales like The Snow Queen and The Steadfast Tin Soldier. It is set in a witty, glittering Regency world made up of a little bit of Jane Austen, a little bit of Georgette Heyer, and a lot of a modern heart yearning for romance, passion and a tall gentleman with a smoldering gaze. This is a broken tale of beauty, dark secrets and love lost.
Frosted is the new enemies-to-lovers Regency novel that will melt your heart.

February 21, 2021 - I love seeing new things each time I read the Bible. I am glad to still be current with morning reading.
I am reading/listening the NLT Tyndale version of the Bible on You Version App so Hubby and I are reading the same passages each day.
I am on day 18 of this 21-day study: Open Heaven: 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer.

I completed four books so I'll have four reviews to post this week.
NetGalley shelf is still at 11. (I might allow myself to look again once I go below 10.)
Two author titles in queue as I am currently listening to one and plan to start another ebook this week.
(Plus a few that I received from newsletter sign-ups, not specific review requests.)
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 books this week.
I found three Audible Plus catalog titles.
I purchased one Chirp deal.

I added no 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


Book cover for America Falls Episodes 1-2 by Scott Medbury with featured deal banner
2/21/21 Purchase at Chrip $1.99:
America Falls Episodes 1-2
Written by Scott Medbury
Read by Adam Barr

Run Time 11h 12min

Added from Plus Catalog:
New Frontiers
The Expansion Wars Trilogy, Book 1
By: Joshua Dalzelle
Narrated by: Mark Boyett

Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins

Resistance: Nomad, Book 3
By: Matthew Mather, Lucas Bale
Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka

Series: The Nomad Series, Book 3, The New Earth, Book 3 Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins

A Little History of Economics
By: Niall Kishtainy
Narrated by: Steven Crossley

Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins

No 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 February 21, 2021

This morning I joined online with our gathered church. Pastor shared his first sermon in his new series: Crash and Burn.

He expounded how it seems like our world and culture are on a collision course with Christ believers. We see around us many artificial barriers being created that are increasing the gap so that the church is being pushed from the conversation. It seems that it is no longer acceptable to “agree to disagree”. Believers are more and more being put in a position that we are being forced to denounce Biblical positions and this may, sooner than we expect, lead to being forced to renounce our faith. As conservative people and positions are being increasingly cancelled, there may soon come a point where we have no access unless we are silent, or worse, concede to the world’s dictated views.

In today’s society, talk of Unity means unity under a particular philosophy; conformity to the opinions of those in control (or those who think they are in control). The Church is called to live in unity with believers – not the world!

Pastor describe a time in his youth when some family members had fascination with Demolition Derby. They enjoyed watching and anticipating crashes even as cars were driven backwards. Our current society has agendas that are driving our western culture backwards.

It is awful to think that the most dangerous place in America today is in a mother’s womb. And now there are those who seek to raise their children as “theybies” rather than identifying the as male or female from birth.

John 15:18-19 repeats that Jesus told his disciples: “18 If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you…”

Would you rather be hated because you are aligned with a political movement or because you are aligned with Christ’s movement? We may support certain political platforms or politicians, but what we need to be supporting are God’s agenda and platforms.

Daniel 3 tells how King Nebuchadnezzar had a huge statute made and the people were told to bow to it. Three faithful teenaged Jews refused to bow and were thrown into the furnace. A fourth being was seen through the windows! They were protected from the flames; they did not burn and did not even smell like smoke when they came out. They showed the King and all the people that God of Israel is the one to worship.

WHO DO YOU BELONG TO? We should be aware that we are only residents of this world, not truly citizens. Our home is eternal.

Those in Babylon were not there by choice. They claimed their citizenship as Israelites. Paul frames this in a discussion of citizenship in Philippians 3:17-20. “But our citizenship is in heaven.” Verse 20. Paul warns the followers, with tears, to beware of many ‘whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.’ Verses 17-19.

The POINT: We live in this messed up world as citizens of heaven and Messengers of the Gospel!

It isn’t our job to be liked, accepted and to find unity with the world. We need to provide contrast with the actions of the culture. We cannot be living like everyone else. We don’t have to wait for every two and four years to change the culture. We need to do it every day. There currently exists a statute that is “health and safety”. The reaction has been to check the walls to see that they are secure. Wall in the family; double the guard at the gate. But for the past year we have limited our chances to share the gospel. We need to recognize that our God provides our safety. Recognize that we are passing through this world but the world needs to hear the message we are directed to share!

I looked through my song list (26 pages) to find a song that spoke to me for this message. I narrowed to three songs and this is the one I chose: All In.
Verses for Today:
Philippians 3:18-20 NLT
18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.

Heavenly Father - help me to remember that this world is not my home. Help me spread your love and your message.

Image result for Philippians 3:18-20
Image result for Philippians 3:18-20

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Sharing Beyond Books #415 Comment Giveaway February 20, 2021

Hello again, Welcome to Sharing Beyond Books. (Sorry - commenting wasn't activated but it is now.)

Thanks to everyone who commented last week.
Last Q#414 Elizabeth asks: If you are in a stay-at-home area, what activities kept you busy? Did you try anything new? Or spend time reading??
Four or so commenters had things pretty much normal with limited lock down or as essential workers. Most of us continued reading; four added new crafts, puzzles or more knitting; and four or so watched a bit more TV, film or Netflix.

The Winner from SBB #414 comments is #2 MYSTICA 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. -- [11/16/19 I plan to add some review books this week and maybe some new Christmas and Love titles as soon as I locate the box I put them in. 11/28/20 I have added a box of new books for SBB and will list them in the next week or so. I have to try to cross off books that have already been awarded. ]

Please let me know your choice by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #415
(One Question.)
Becky asks: Do you have a strong local accent??
Although I now live in "the south", I was raised in Pennsylvania. I do not have a strong accent but those familiar with regional accents say that I pronounce "water" with a Pennsylvania accent (sounds like "order".  I also occasionally use Pennsylvania Dutch phrases (Danka, Guten Tag, Gute Nacht and Bitte) as I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country not too far from Reading and Allentown. (I loved Shoofly Pie!)
Image result for local accents
Image found at Thrillist.

Image result for local accents
Image found at YouTube.

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 1/2 book choice or $2.50 towards 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 them.
February Comments shared by Elizabeth and Becky who each get $2.50 or half book credit. Thank you.

Your turn to share. Becky asks: Do you have a strong local accent??

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, March 6, 2021, at 5 PM central.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Book Review: Noah - Another Storm is Coming by E.G. White

This book speaks to the condition of man... and God's warnings as well as His gift of redemption.
Noah - Another Storm is Coming
by E. G. White


Publisher : Remnant Publications (January 1, 2014)
Paperback : 128 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-1629130170
Genre: Christian, Inspirational
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0.

A worldwide, catastrophic flood. It reshaped the face of the planet. It killed millions of animals. It ended the lives of countless men, women, and children. Why would anyone believe a God of love would punish the world like that? You’re not alone. Questions like this one have mystified honest, searching people for thousands of years. Skeptics discredit the event as a mere myth, proof that God is nothing more than a cruel tyrant invented by men, while believers struggle to harmonize the love of Jesus and this frightening Old Testament story. There is an answer that actually makes sense that will help you understand the mind of God when it comes to evil, sin, suffering, pain, and punishment. Table of Contents Part 1—The Real Story: “As in the Days of Noah . . .” 1. The Building of the Ark: The Flood—Part I 2. Destruction by Water: The Flood—Part II 3. The Rainbow Sign: After the Flood 4. Skepticism

I expected a timely prophesy from this book but received so much more. The author, Ellen G. White, lived from 1827 to 1915. This work is compiled from her original works, Patriarchs and Prophets, The Desire of Ages, and The Great Controversy. The message is timeless, and I have no doubt that the message was remarkable to those who got to hear it from the original works as it is to readers today.

This book is set out in three parts: Parts 1: The Real Story; “As in the Days of Noah…”’ Part 2: The Coming Storm: “As in the Days of Lot”; and Part 3 The Problem of Evil: “As On that Day…” Biblical scripture forms the basis for the thoughts and message shared. What struck me first, and at the end, was the way the author clearly portrays the fallen condition of man in the days of Noah…in her own time… and still today.

The event of the flood is a pivotal Faith foundation for believers. In ten generations from Adam’s expulsion from Paradise, mankind had forgotten to revere and fear the great Creator God. At very least they chose to ignore Him and at worst they deliberately chose to reject Him and disobey His commandments. Only Noah maintained a faithful relationship and followed God’s directives. His family was saved by their relationship under Noah’s spiritual leadership.

As I read the sections on Noah’s solitary obedience and warnings and on Lot’s escape from Sodom and Gomorrah, I had to wonder how I would have reacted. Noah must have seemed like a crazy person talking about rain that had never happened before. I hope I would have responded by the time the animals came two by two. And Lot had to struggle to get his own family out of the wicked cities. He couldn’t save his wife who looked back longingly on the worldly city rather than running away from the evils there. The third section discusses the fall of Lucifer and how the great beauty that God gifted him with fed his own envy then pride and arrogance fueled discontent, malice and hatred. His initial chafing and grumbling under God’s authority grew to justification of disobedience and ultimately full rebellion. “The same spirit that prompted rebellion in heaven still inspires rebellion on earth.” The time will come, and we need to be ready, when God will deliver judgment for the lawlessness of men.

The final chapters speak to the only hope to be found for the sins of men through redemption by faith in Jesus Christ. I found the description of that gift humbling and awesome. Then the book concludes with an amazing description of the glorious second coming of Christ and the new Jerusalem where the faithful redeemed get to dwell for eternity.

This short work renewed my awareness of the need to hold very lightly to the things of earth, and it stirred my heart to keep pressing into obedience to God’s righteousness. It isn’t an easy task with all the wealth and distractions around us, but it is worth the reward at the end. I recommend this to all people --- those who need to hear the message of salvation and those who have accepted but can find renewed vigor in the scriptural message.
“That the Maker of all worlds, the Arbiter of all destinies, should lay aside His glory and humiliate Himself from love to man will ever excite the wonder and adoration of the universe.” Page 120.
Source: My own bookshelf; gift from a church friend. This qualifies for 2021TBR and 2021Alphabet goals.

Quote by the Author found online:
Talk unbelief, and you will have unbelief; but talk faith, and you will have faith. According to the seed sown will be the harvest.


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