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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Comment Tuesday - Giveaway; Topic: Being Homeless


The review posted today is Hearts of Compassion by Eryn Grace.  The story revolves around a homeless shelter.

I have never been homeless but I always try to be mindful that "there, but for the grace of God, go I."
My husband and I did “downsize” at one point to get a handle on debt and maintain our family when I unexpectedly lost a good paying job.  We went from a $150,000.00 home to a $55,000.00 home and were able to be debt free except for the mortgage within three years.

I have had occasion to work with people (clients or church friends) who have had to struggle when they lost their jobs and couldn’t keep their homes.  I have also seen people who refused to downsize and ended up losing everything.

For this week's Comment Drawing, please comment on the review or share an experience you have had regarding the homeless or downsizing. A comment on either post will be counted as an entry and a meaningful comment on both will be two entries.  The winner will get to pick a book from the Friday Pick lists or a gift card if international.

I have been doing Tuesday comment Giveaways now for several weeks.  I have decided to extend the drawing deadline from Tuesday's post to the following Monday at 10pm Centeral with winner to be announced (hopefully) on the next Tuesday. This will hopefully allow a few more people to comment who might not be able to get to the post right away.

Review - Hearts of Compassion by Eryn Grace

Author:  Eryn Grace
Publisher: Red Rose Press
Mainstream Romance: Contemporary, Inspirational, Holiday (Christmas)
ISBN: 978-1-60435-490-4
Pages: 388
Release Date: December 03, 2009
Price: $5.99

Rating: 4.25

Blurb:  Rylee Fitz, lonely daughter of a millionaire, is forced to work at a homeless shelter in up-state New York as a team building exercise for her job.

Ben Colson, the homeless shelter's lawyer who was fired when he has been working for Rylee's father, teaches Rylee that money doesn't get the work done and makes her do manual labor. When he takes the time to actually treat her like a human being and teaches her about the love of Jesus, Rylee finds herself falling for Ben. She just hopes he finds it in his heart to deal with her problems and forgives her family for treating him badly.

Review: This is a wonderful story that is not limited to Holiday reading. It really opens the readers’ eyes to the plight of the homeless.  It also points out the difference between being driven to personal success and being successful by helping others in need.

Rylee has chosen to seek success without relying on her family wealth.  She works hard in her marketing position at an interior design firm but often her co-workers try to undermine her or take credit for her work.  When her team goes to work for a homeless shelter she is surprised at the expectations.  However, she puts forth the effort to do her assigned tasks thoroughly. This gains her respect from Ben and others at the shelter but puts her at odds once more with her co-workers.

Ben initially sees Rylee as a spoiled, rich girl. He seems a little rough on her at first but his own compassion and warmth soon seeps through.  He gains respect for Rylee’s integrity in her honest efforts.  He also sees that she has been reluctant to accept help from others and she hides behind her loneliness and drive to succeed.

The author gently reveals the stories of those who have come to the shelter due to circumstances beyond their control.  Rylee learns to begin to reach out and help while allowing them their dignity.  Little does Rylee realize that when she returns to New York her own circumstances are going to tumble her out of work, out of her apartment and onto the streets!  How did this happen to her and how is she going to manage without seeking help from others?

The plot is full of twists that keep you waiting to see what will happen next. The characters are well developed and “humanly” flawed.  Through Rylee’s experiences and with Ben’s gentle leading, she learns to see the need for forgiving “grace” not only to strangers but to her own family.  This story is relevant to the hardships of the current economy. Ms. Grace has written an engaging and warm tale that made me think twice about my own attitude towards the homeless.  I heartily recommend this book for an inspirational read that is more than just a sweet romance.

Thank you to author Eryn Grace for providing this eBook to read and review.

This is my Sweet and Sensual Romances group review post today.


Winners of Easter Packages!

Thank you everyone for commenting and sharing your Easter/holiday traditions.  It is so interesting to learn about other traditions and customs. 


(who quacks when you push the patch on his chest!)
with a candle, a dish towel and treats

(a cute old fashion look!)
with a ceramic bunny house
decoration that opens,
Easter window decals/stickers
and treats

#3 CARROT BUNNY (so soft and plump)
with a bunny bell, a dish cloth and treats

And for the International Gift Certificate:

Please try to get your snail mail addresses to me right away so I can send the packages out as soon as possible!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mailbox Monday March 29, 2010

This Meme starts with Marcia at The Printed Page

These are books I got last weeks.

I won The Stranger's Secrets by Beth Williamson at Ann Aguirre's Hell Fire Lottery.  Thank you Beth and Ann!

Betrayed By Her Own Heart
Sarah Spalding has learned to forge her own way and never to trust anyone—least of all a Yankee. But when her companion abandons her while on a train to Colorado, Sarah begrudgingly accepts the help of Whitman Kendrick—a Yankee, yes, but one with the most bewitching green eyes. Allowing Whit to be her traveling escort is one thing, taking him as a lover is another—even though she’s tempted beyond reason…
Whit Kendrick isn’t quite sure what to make of the sharp-tongued, sassy woman sharing his train compartment. All he knows is that Sarah is refreshingly different from most women—and his urgent, primal attraction for her is unlike any he’s experienced. Breaking down Sarah’s wall of defense won’t be easy. But Whit is determined to prove to Sarah that they’re more alike than different—and loving each other is all they need…

I also won Bound by Temptation by Lavinia Kent at another Coffee Time Romance chat!  Thank you Lavinia and CTR!

Clara, the Countess of Westington, is one of the ton's most scandalous women.
Jonathan Masters has spent his life striving to be one of its most respected members.
Of all the beds in London, she had to wind up tied to his.

Clara was trying to be respectable. But when a misunderstanding puts her newly laid plans in jeopardy, she will do anything to keep the incident quiet—even if it means aiding a man she finds utterly infuriating.
Masters has spent his life surrounded by scandalous women. All he wants is a sweet, biddable wife who will help him restore his tarnished family name – not a dark-haired beauty with a wicked reputation who questions his every move.
Yet soon they are bound by temptation, desperate with desire, and swept into a reckless affair – and a love more than worth the price of impropriety.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What are you Reading Monday? March 29, 2010

This meme starts at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!

I got to visit a few blogs this week for this meme and for Friday's Blog Hop meme.  Very fun.

I still have lots of books to review; two interviews with Giveaways to prepare and at least three other Giveaways to post soon.  Staying busy!

PB -------------------

Kindle2 - Alone and Afraid by Karen Lewis This was a very quick interesting read.  Reviewing for You Gotta Read Reviews.

Blurb: Life hasn'’t been easy for Shannon Knight, raised by a single mother, money’s been tight, but it’s about to get a whole lot worse. When her mother uproots them, to be with a boyfriend, then suddenly goes missing, it leaves Shannon facing homelessness in a strange city where she knows no one. Convinced that this man is responsible for her mother’s disappearance, Shannon sets out to prove it, with surprising consequences.

Audio CD:  Marriage and Other Acts of Charity by Kate Braestrup. Review and Hachette Giveaway are posted.

Audio CD:  Lost in Paradise by Allie Boniface.  I listened to this in two evenings - very easy and enjoyable!  Reviewing for You Gotta Read Reviews.
Ashton Kirk, youngest daughter of a prestigious senator, fiancée of a hotshot attorney, and fresh Harvard graduate, is headed for a promising law career when scandal breaks apart her family. Suddenly, she finds herself newly single and ashamed of her name. To escape, she rents an apartment in the sleepy town of Paradise, New Hampshire, where no one knows who she is.
Ashton hopes for solitude, but all bets are off when Eddie West, the town’s most eligible bachelor, moves in downstairs. The brawny auto mechanic loves his women and his cars shiny, sleek, and fast, and when he meets his new housemate, he wastes no time getting friendly. While Eddie is looking for a no-strings romance, though, he gets more than he bargained for in Ash, who sees through his bravado to the pain of a loss too fresh to mention.
Can two people from different worlds find common ground, a place to fall in love and build a future together? Or will Ashton’s past and Eddie’s scars keep them apart just as the summer heat brings them together? Is it possible to find your soul mate in the place you least expect to?

Currently reading:

PB:  Death Mill Mansion - A Lighthearted Comehy by Will Hartzell-Baird. I am two thirds done this very crazy murder mystery!
Books provided by author.
As has been documented in any number of movies and books, there is a particular class of mansion that, through some indescribable means, bestows unanticipated engine/tire difficulty upon passing cars, forcing the unsuspecting occupants to knock on the door, asking to use the phone, never to be seen or heard from again. Countless motorists have been lost to these devious abodes, as well as to the mysterious mansion's close relatives, the darkened gas station and the eerily silent farm community looming unassumingly in the distance. Coincidentally, on a dark, stormy night while driving on an unfamiliar country road, Robbie inexplicably experiences car trouble...

Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between by J.A. Saare. I am really enjoying this Urban Fantasy! About 65% completed.
One bad corpse can ruin your whole day.
No one knows that better than Rhiannon Murphy.
She left behind the flash and sass of Miami for the no-nonsense groove of New York City, eager for a clean slate and a fresh start. A bartender by trade, a loud mouth by choice, and a necromancer by chance; she managed to keep her nifty talent hidden from those around her—until now.
The deliciously good-looking vampire, Disco, knows her secret. When he strolls into her bar to solicit help investigating the mysterious disappearances of his kind from the city, Rhiannon discovers he’s not the kind of person that appreciates the significance of the word no.
But in a world where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, it’s only a matter of time before the next big thing hits the market. Someone or something is killing vampires to steal their hearts, and unlike Rhiannon, this isn’t their first stroll around the undead block.
Audio CD -----------------I need a new Audio :)

Same old story:  This week I am again committed to writing more reviews!

Upcoming books:
Highest Stakes by Emery Lee.
Review (with Giveaway of the ARC copy provided by Sourcebooks) to be posted around the first week of April.

God Never Blinks - 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours by Regina Brett
Review and Hachette Giveaway to be posted soon.

Sunday Words of Encouragment March 28, 2010

Our Pastor's message today was "Choose Your Attitude."  There are those who are hostile to Jesus; those who are bystanders and never really a part of the message of Christ; there are those who follow Him but do not give all their best; and then there are those who take off their coats to lay them at His feet and give Him the best that they have.  Interesting comment - the unridden colt allowed Jesus to ride it into Jerusalem - the colt was obedient and gave his best.  What is your attitude?

Here is a song of praise I found for the triumph of Palm Sunday.
Did you know that Hosanna means "Save us now"?

Verses for Today:
Luke 19: 35-38  NIV
[35] They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. [36] As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
[37] When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
[38] "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

Today we dedicated knit hats and shawls made by ladies in the church. We prayed, and I pray, for healing and comfort to those who are blessed with the hats and shawls, and symbolically for others who need that healing and comforting touch.

Giveaway - Three Audio Books of Marriage and Other Acts of Charity

Thanks to Hachette there will be THREE  WINNERS of this Audio book.

Publisher: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (January 13, 2010)
Genre: memoir
ISBN-10: 1600247784
ISBN-13: 978-1600247781
Buy Link 
Price:  $22.78
Author website

Product Description
In her award-winning memoir Here If You Need Me, Kate Braestrup won the hearts of readers across the country with her deeply moving and deftly humorous stories of faith, hope and family. Now, with her inimitable voice and generous spirit, she turns her attention to the subjects of love and commitment in MARRIAGE AND OTHER ACTS OF CHARITY. As a minister, Kate Braestrup regularly performs weddings. She has also, at 44, been married twice and widowed once, and accordingly has much to say about life after the ceremony.


1. I'll give you a choice for the entry Comment: you can do any ONE or all if you wish - it will only count as ONE entry.
a) Tell me how you would fill in the blank:  "What matters most is ___________."  (See my review.) Since that may be too personal for some there are other choices.
b) Check out the Author's Website and tell me something you found interesting there. (You might find the link to her husband's art work.)
c) You can listen to an excerpt here and comment on it.  OR
d) You can just tell me why you are interested in winning this audio.

2. For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

3. For another entry, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

4. Comment on my Review for another entry.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Four total entries possible.)  MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL!


* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* No P.O. Boxes Please - for shipping reasons
* This contest will close Midnight (Central) on April 16, 2010. The winners will be randomly selected from all entries.

Review - Marriage and Other Acts of Charity by Kate Braestrup

Author:  Kate Braestrup
Publisher: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (January 13, 2010)
Genre: memoir
ISBN-10: 1600247784
ISBN-13: 978-1600247781
Buy Link 
Price:  $22.78
Author website

Rating: 4.0

Product Description
In her award-winning memoir Here If You Need Me, Kate Braestrup won the hearts of readers across the country with her deeply moving and deftly humorous stories of faith, hope and family. Now, with her inimitable voice and generous spirit, she turns her attention to the subjects of love and commitment in MARRIAGE AND OTHER ACTS OF CHARITY. As a minister, Kate Braestrup regularly performs weddings. She has also, at 44, been married twice and widowed once, and accordingly has much to say about life after the ceremony.

REVIEW: This is interesting, humorous and thought provoking.  Have you ever realized: 100% of marriages end?  All will end eventually by death or divorce.

In this memoir Ms. Braestrup uses good storytelling to tell about experiences of conflict and commitment in marriage; loss of a spouse and the resulting struggles and fears of further loss;  betrayal of relationships and finally the willingness to allow a second chance at love.  As a chaplain for the Maine Warden Service the author blends in work and scenery details that fit nicely in the flow of her message.  She incorporates counseling and wedding decisions of one of the young game wardens and the divorce dilemma of a fictionalized game warden to help describe the difficulties of love and marriage.

Underlying her narrative is the simple (or not so simple) question “What matters most is ___________.”  She encourages each person to fill in the blank.  The author fills in the blank with “love”.  Not eros (physical) love or philos (brotherly) love,  but agape love which she presents as God’s selfless loving of another as yourself, with sincere caring.

Although Ms. Braestrup is a minister, the book is not religious. She does briefly express some theologies, several of which I personally cannot agree with.  However I did appreciate her conviction of faith and her message of God’s love which was presented in the aspects of relationships and not through preaching.

I was a little disconcerted by her use of some “50 cent” words that even I didn’t know or had to stretch to remember. [I say that because as an undergrad journalist and graduate lawyer I have a pretty extensive vocabulary. I even read through the dictionary and encyclopedia in my early teens - not that I remember all of that! I used to love to do the Reader Digest word matching.]  Some of the words she uses are just not everyday language.  Fortunately most of that is in the first disc and does not fill the book.

This audio book is read by the author in a smooth and expressive manner.  It is laced with humor and pathos.  I really enjoyed the easy style and chuckled out loud several times.  It presents engaging storytelling that affirms love and marriage.
This book was provided by Hachette for review and Giveaway.  Thank you Hachette and Valerie.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Book Beginnings Friday March 26, 2010

This post is a bit late too but another I found and want to try!

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Becky at Page Turners.  Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.  If you like, share with everyone why you do, or do not, like the sentence.

1.  Death Mill Mansion - A Lighthearted Comedy by Will Hartzell-Baird
The second strangest creature in the known universe is the almost unheard of Sliv Lizard.
That sentence did get my attention - I certainly had never heard of the Sliv Lizard.  And don't you wonder then what is THE strangest creature?  This story had me chuckling in the first page!

2.  Dead, Undead or Somewhere in Between by J.A. Saare
Rhiannon's Law #27:  When you're working in a gentlemen's club and one of your dancers takes off those heels, alert the big guns, an [butt] kicking is on the menu.
I changed the word [butt] as a milder word than what is used.  You still get the picture - trouble is about to start!!

Join The Book Blogger Hop - March 26, 2010

Okay - I am a bit late but I really wanted to do this and I had to hunt down the link after I got to visit some Monday Reading links and some new sites/blog friends I met this week

This is a new meme from Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books and it is pretty cool!

You link up at The Hop and make an effort to visit other blogs.  It's all about networking and finding new BOOK blogs that are of interest. At the time I am posting this there were already 151 153 (before I could post!) links to the meme which is very wonderful.  I am looking forward to visiting some more blogs.  (I know, I know.  I have no more time - but sometimes its more important to visit with friends than to write the reviews!)
I f you stop by from the Hop please comment and say HI!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Martha's Bookshelf *** Friday Pick Giveaway March 26, 2010

Bookshelf Quilt by nkdolin at flickr

This post now repeasts except for the change in number of books and deletion of picked books. :o)

I am going to continue to include the full list updated with chosen books crossed off.  You can still go to the Friday Pick list link to see each post and the book pictures if you want!  I am happy to say that so far about 47 books have found new homes! YAY.  When I get down near 100 I will post some new books! :)

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 the Friday Pick Giveaways.

I have posted ten Friday Pick posts with 16 books each.  I will strike out the books as they are chosen. Some of the books may be chosen by winners in the SaSR weekly drawings. So it will be first pick to the one who claims it.  SaSR winners are announced Friday mornings (or afternoon if I get busy!) and it usually takes that person a bit of time to get back to me. That means the Friday Pick winner who is drawn Thursday night will usually get the choice named in their comment as I will have time to remove it from the file list before announcing the winner at SaSR.

Because postage to overseas can be prohibitive I am willing to give a $5.00 book certificate to international winners - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, 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.

Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists (less whichever books might be picked by the comment or SaSR winners each week).  PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM SETTING A NEW CUT OFF TIME AS THURSDAY  NIGHTS AT 10:00 PM CENTRAL so I do not have to stay up past midnight to do the winner post!
I will randomly pick two winners to announce the next Friday.
ALSO, TO SAVE ME EXTRA WORK, I WILL ASK THE WINNERS TO CHECK THE WIN POST ON FRIDAYS AND E-MAIL ME THEIR ADDRESSES at  I will confirm receipt of the addresses.  If I have the winners e-mail I will send a reminder over the weekend but I won't be so rushed on Fridays!  So I still recommend that you leave your e-mail especially if you are new and I don't have a way to find it!

Thanks for helping these books find a new home!!

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!

List 1
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Married at Midnight (Anthology) Kathleen Woodiwiss, Jo Beverley, Tanya Anne Crosby & Samantha James
A Jockey's Life by Dick Francis
Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo
Net Force - One is the Lonliest Number by Tom Clancy
Everlasting by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peritti
A Time to Kill by John Girsham
Unlaced by Kristina Cook
Love in Bloom by Shelia Roberts
Tamed by a Laird by Amanda Scott
Jerusalem Vigil by Bodie & Brock Thoene
Whispers and Lies by Joy Fielding
Never Seduce a Scoundrel by Sabrina Jeffries
Almost Single by Advaita Kala

Love Me Forever by Johanna Lindsey
It Had to be you (the Gossip Girl prequel) by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Breaking Point by Suzanne Brockmann
Lord of a Thousand Nights by Madeline Hunter
On the Run by Iris Johansen
The Crush by Sandra Brown
The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross
Abandon by Carla Neggers
Shadows in the Heart - A Jewels of the Quill Halloween Anthology *PA*
Bait by Karen Robards
The Lighthouse by Mary Schramski
Listen to the Silence by Marcia Muller
Kissing Midnight by Emma Holly
The Lightkeeper by Susan Wiggs (I loved this historical romance and it got me to reading all of Susan Wiggs!)
It's Always Something by Gilda Radner - Gilda's poignant battle with cancer.
11th Hour by Bradley Warshauer

Pick #3
Put Your Dreams First - Handle your [entertainment] business HY[E]B by Thembisa Mshaka
Delivered by Christmas Anthology - Linda Howard, Joan Hohl andSandra Steffen
The Woman Next Door by Barbara Delinsky
Until Prove Guilty by J.A. Jance
One Night with a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries
Maverick Wild by Stacey Kane
Red Fire by Dierdre Knight
Cloud Nine by LuAnn Rice
The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe
One Eye Closed by Karen Whiddon
Under the Mistletoe by Mary Balogh
The Bartered Bride by Mary Jo Putney
Isle of Palms by Dorothea Benton Frank
Payback by R.I. Kaiser
The Angels of Darkness by Caleb Carr
Dream in Color - How the Sanchez Sisters are Making History in Congress

Pick #4
Honeymoon by James Patterson
Talking God by Tony Kellerman
Twelve Acres by Barbara Delinsky
Black Ice by Anne Stuart
Everything to Gain by Barbara Taylor Bradford
CORRECTION:  This was not The Last of The Mohicans based on the Novel by James Fenimore Cooper - although I do have that;  The book in the group is The Sixth Sense (a book my son left me when he went off to the service).
A Cowboys Redemption by Jeanie Watt (PA)
Three Weeks in Paris by Barbara Taylor Bradford
The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
Tripwire by Lee Child
The Shadow by Shelley Munro (PA)
Children of the Wild by Orson Scott Card
Until Death Do Us Part by Christine Mcquire
Warning Signs by Stephen White
The Forgotten by Faye Kellerman
Swear by the Moon by Shirley Busbee
Montana Bride by Barbara Clark (A)

Pick #5
See Jane Lead by Lois P. Frankel
Jake's Return by Liana Laverentz (A)
The Jester by James Patterson - Audio Tapes
Firestorm by Nevada Barr
Manhunt by Janet Evanovich - Audio CDs
Bloodlines by Dinah McCall (slightly creased "SC")
The Darkroom by Minette Walters
Wish You Well by David Baldacci - Audio Tapes
The Daddy Spell by Patti Ann Cole
Ice Hunt by James Rollins
Surrender a Dream by Jill Barnett
Irresistible by Mary Balogh
Misfortune by Nancy Geary
False Prophet by Faye Kellerman
Cold Hit by Linda Fairstein - Audio Tapes
A Kiss of Fate by Mary Jo Putney (SC)

Pick #6
Best Kept Secrets by Sandra Brown - Audio CDs
Demon Rum by Sandra Brown
Tin Man by Dale Brown
Song of the Beast by Carol Berg
The Marshall Takes a Bride by Renee Ryan *PA*
The Torment of Others by Val McDermid
On Bear Mountain by Deborah Smith
The Edge of Town by Dorothy Garlock
The Hostage Bride by Jane Feather
Gypsy Lover by Edith Layton
The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
The Elusive Flame by Kathleen Woodwiss
The House of Women by Alison G. Taylor
The Healer by Dee Henderson - Audio Tapes
Elusive Love by Catherine Lanigan
Mistletoe and Mischief by Patricia Wynn

Pick #7
Desperate Duchess by Eloisa James
In Her Defense by Stepehn Horn - Audio Tape
A Perfect Gentleman by Barbara Metzger (slightly creased)
Scarred by William Heffernan (spine creased)
When A Stranger Loves Me by Julianne Maclean (Autographed)
Prey by Michael Crichton - Audio Tape
The Path to Her Heart by Linda Ford (Personally Autographed)
Deception Point by Dan Brown
Barbarians of Malka by Justus Roux
X-Men 2
Hunted by William W. Johnstone (spine frayed at top)
Wedded in a Whirlwind by Liz Fielding (Autographed)
Man of My Dreams by Johanna Lindsey (spine frayed a bit at bottom)
Kisscut by Karen Slaughter - Audio Tape
Princess Charming by Jane Heller (slightly creased)
The Janson Directive by Robert Ludlum 

Pick #8
(sc) = slightly creased on binding otherwise all in good shape
Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
The Jury by Steve Martini - Audio Tapes
Dream Chaser by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Stormy Weather by Carl Haasen - Audio Tapes
The Vision by Heather Graham (sc))
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
Fool Me Once by Fern Michaels
Midnight Come Again by Dana Stabenow (sc)
Speak No Evil by Allison Brennan (sc)
Into the Forest by Jean Hegland - Audio Tapes (box creased but tapes good)
Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian (sc)
Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen (sc)
The Nosy Neighbor by Fern Michaels
Born of Fire by Sherrilyn Kenyon
No Safe Place by Richard North Patterson - Audio Tapes
Vertical Run by Joseph R. Garber (sc)

Pick #9
Spyder Web by Tom Grace - Audio Tapes
The Closers by Michael Connelly
Three Weddings and a Kiss - Anthology
The Rogue and the Rival by Maya Rodale (Personally Autographed)
Final Appeal by Lisa Scottoline (spine creased)
The Lost World by Michael Crichton - Audio Tapes
Evil Whispers by Owl Goingback
Her Highness My Wife by Victoria Alexander
On Treacherous Ground by Earl Murrray
Darkfall by Stephen Laws
Runaway Heart by Stephen J. Cannell
Guardian by Dee Henderson - Audio Tapes
Grace in Autumn by Lori Copeland and Angela Hunt
The Lottery Winner by Mary Higgins Clark
Time to Hunt by Stephen Hunter - Audio Tapes
Vanity by Jane Feather

Pick #10
Night by Elie Wiesel
Cruel & Unusual by Patricia Cornwell (slightly creased -sc)
The Third Twin by Ken Follett (spine creased)
Double Blind by Ken Goodard
Fool's Paradise by Tori Phillips
Deep Black by Stephen Coonts
The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodwiss (spine creased)
A Stranger in The House by Gloria Murphy
The Hunter by Gennita Low (sc)
Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief by Dorothy Gilman - Audio Tapes
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
The Trouble with Mary by Millie Criswell
Dreams Gather by Kathryn Collins (sc)
Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Aristocrat by Catherine Coulter (I have most of her books and this is a duplicate!)

Winner of Tuesday 3/23 Comment Question

Thank you to Throughthehaze, Llehn and Carol M who commented on Tuesday's What kind of shifter would you want to be Q.

The Winner to pick a book is:

Multi-styled Text Generator at
Throughthehaze - please e-mail me with your book choice and address!

Winners of Friday Pick March 19, 2010

to the Winners of Friday Pick March 19

Glitter text generator

Carol M chose The Torment of Others - which she has chosen pretty consistently so I'm glad she gets it! :o)


Debbie F. had two choices so she will have to confirm ... the first was A Stranger in the House.

Ladies- please e-mail me with your addresses and Debbie please confirm which book!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Review - Lucifer Rising by Barbara Fifield

Author: Barbara Fifield
Genre: Fiction/General
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN-10: 143274478X
ISBN-13: 978-1432744786
Release Date: October 26, 2009
Paperback $10.95
Pages: 88
Heat Rating: Some language.

Rating: 2.75 of 5.0

Product Description
Can Elsa ever escape cult leader Tyrell, a reincarnation of the devil? What about him does she find so mesmerizing? Tyrell has lured women into his snare over many reincarnations. Will he succeed with Elsa? Or will she be able to break away from him?

Back Cover:
When ace reporter Elsa Eldridge is assigned to profile a local religious cult leader named Tyrell, she doesn't expect to fall under his spell. But Tyrell's charismatic personality, muscled body and piercing gaze make him hard to resist, and soon Elsa is enamored. But all isn't what it seems. And what Elsa doesn't know could make her regret the day she ever laid eyes on this spiritual seducer. Before long, cracks show in Tyrell's glossy veneer. There's the intense possessiveness that threatens to burst into violence; the not-even-trying-to- hide-it womanizing; and the rumors about his prior life. Lawsuits from former lovers dog him; an ex claims he committed the ultimate sin. But through it all, Elsa is drawn as if by some mystical force into his world. Every time she succeeds in breaking away, he brings her back into his snare. Can Elsa find the strength and courage to stand up to the man she lusts after? What's the truth behind the whispered allegations? And what explains the bizarre sensations Elsa has that Tyrell is visiting her when he's not around? Savvy, sexy and spiritually aware, Lucifer Rising mixes romance with paranormal intrigue for a thriller that will keep you guessing right up until the very last page.

Review: This story unfortunately did not live up to its cover or blurb. I was expecting something with a distinct paranormal element.  This is really the story of a woman who allows herself to be continually sucked back into a “going nowhere” relationship with a charismatic, self-centered and unfaithful man.  Elsa mistook Tyrell’s cult leader personality as some paranormal power or attribute.  Really it was a matter of lust winning out over good sense.

The characterization was well done even if I wanted to fuss at Elsa for giving the creep, Tyrell, the time of day.  The writing moved along all right although it lacked zest.  This just wouldn’t have been the type of story I would pick to read if I had known it was like a soap opera drama.  Someone needing to be reminded why they shouldn’t get caught in an 'on again, off again' relationship with a philanderer might like to read this story.


Thank you to Bostwick Communications and the author who provided this book for review.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Top Ten Picks Meme: Book Series

This is a new meme hosted by Jillian at Random Ramblings.
The first topic is "Book Series".  I thought it might be hard to pick ten until I went through my author lists! Then I realized it was hard to pick ONLY ten!

I will buy all of the books in these series either in print or audio.  Some of these are authors I automatically buy and collect ALL their books, not just the series.  A few I actually keep even though I should pass them on someday! 
Automatic buy is noted by A
Keepers are noted by K

Here are my Top Ten Picks (er...well there were 13 - I just couldn't pick any to remove) in Book Series in no particular order:

Sookie Stackhouse (vampire) series by Charlaine Harris (basis for HBO series True Blood)
Rachel Morgan/The Hallows (witch) series by Kim Harrison
Cassandra Palmer (clairvoyant) series by Karen Chance
The Bridgerton Family (Regency historicals) by Julia Quinn A; K
The Governess Bride (Victorian historicals) series by Christina Dodd A; K
Chicago Stars (Contemporary) series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips A
Temperance Brennan (forensic) series by Kathy Reichs (basis for TV series Bones) A
Slightly (Bedwyn family - Regency hisoricals) series by Mary Balogh A (Any of her other series too!)
The Cynster (Regency historicals) series by Stephanie Laurens A
The Guardian (fantasy historicals) series by Mary Jo Putney A
The Compass Club (Regency historicals) series by Jo Goodman A (I loved that series!)
Calhoun Chronicles (historicals) series by Susan Wiggs 
The Sisters of the Lone Star (western historical) series by Joan Johnston (Another great series!)

The above would be my top ten eleven thirteen but my series don't stop there.  Here are more:

Malory Family (Regency historicals) series by Johanna Lindsey A
The Women's Murder Club series by James Patterson
The Seducer series by Madeline Hunter A
FBI Thriller (FBI agents) series by Catherine Coulter A
Pendergast (FBI paranormal) series by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child This is one of the few series I can get DH to listen too.
Eve Dallas (futuristic tough NYPSD female cop) series by JD Robb Just starting this series
The Lord of the Rings by J.R. Tolkien

I do have more 'automatic buy' authors but not necessarily for series.
So - do you have a favorite series or two that I don't have?  I know I am missing some of the more current urban fantasy authors.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review - Moon Shifter by Karen Michelle Nut Plus Comment Contest

Author: Karen Michelle Nut
Genre: Paranormal/Shifters
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Release Date: 2009
Paperback $2.00
Pages: 76
Heat Rating: Spicy

Rating: 4.5 of 5.0 

The Mac Tíre forbade all moon shifters from changing a human in order to save them from death. Grayson Quinn, the alpha of the pack ignores the ancient rule when Sydney Carlisle, his fiancée is ravaged by one of his own kind.
Sydney believes she is a monster, a werewolf. She flees before Grayson can help her adjust, but Grayson must find her. Sydney’s body is still changing and the were lust will drive her crazy if not sated. He has until the full moon to help her tame the wolf inside and convince her she’s his soul mate. If he fails, he loses her forever.
Sydney still craves Grayson's touch, but can her heart forgive him for making her one of the Mac Tíre?

Review: This was a very fast, engaging and sexy romance.

Sydney is angry and frightened. She is in no mood to listen to the man who turned her into this monster.

Grayson is patient and concerned in his efforts to make Sydney listen. He really needs to get past her anger to explain to her the current emotional and physical dilemma she faces. He knows she hates him for what she has become but he is unaware that the doctor never explained why Grayson wasn’t there for her when she first shifted.

Add to these conflicts the fact that both Sydney and Grayson have memories of how wonderful their relationship was before she was attacked. Plus there is the continued pull of attraction that they are fighting for different reasons.

I really like the shifter clan that Ms. Nutt created.  Some “werewolf” myths and wolf facts are smoothly woven into a very believable plot.  All the action and emotion in the story are focused around the central romance. The sexual tension is intense and the intimacy is spicy.  The writing flows for an easy read.  If you like a fast paced, sexy romance story you can’t go wrong with this one!

I won this book at a contest blog where Karen talked about creating her world of shifters.  I forgot to say thanks in the Monday Mailbox post to Skhye who hosted that contest - so a little late - Thank You! Take a peek at Skhye's Ramblings where she has listed some online kids activities!
This is my Tuesday R&R review post at SaSR group today. 

Comment on the Review and answer the following question to be in a drawing for a Friday Pick book!
Here is a Question for you:
If you could be a shifter what animal would you want to be?  
Some choices:  a wolf, a dragon, a wild cat, a bird.....
Tell us what you would like to be and why.
I haven't decided yet so I'll answer after I sleep on it! LOL

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mailbox Monday March 22, 2010

This Meme starts with Marcia at The Printed Page
These are books I got in the last two weeks.

I won A Fiery Secret by Diane Craver at a contest at her blog. Thank you Diane!

While investigative reporter Catherine Steel looks for Mr. Right, she tries to learn if someone murdered the janitor from her old high school.
Catherine Steel is an investigative reporter for a newspaper in Ohio. To supplement her income so that she can buy clothes and gifts for her small godchild, she writes fluff pieces for women’s magazines. Two recent articles are: “What To Wear to Get Noticed” and “Catherine’s Ten Simple Dating Rules.”
When Jake Michaels fills a sports editor’s spot on the paper, Catherine wonders if he is man enough to fulfill her fantasy. And does she want him to be the one? After all, he broke her heart ten years ago in high school when he failed to show up for their prom date. And now that he’s back in town, he wants to date her. Catherine refuses to go out with him but he keeps asking. Should she give Jake another chance?
When it appears the high school janitor, Max, was murdered, Catherine is determined to learn the truth about his death. Catherine’s list of suspects for Max’s death include: the school secretary with her intense dislike of Max, the charismatic mayor, the mayor’s unbalanced girlfriend, the angry school principal, and a strange math teacher.

I won Love Engineered by Jenna Dawlish at a contest hosted by Joyce DiPastina. Thank you Jenna and Joyce!

Description Courtesy of Goodreads:
“It's 1855 and Louise Thomas, owner of a large estate in Devon is ready to fall in love, but only if she can find a man who will put up with her thirst for knowledge in the engineering and scientific world.

Charles Lucas is one of the country's top Engineer's, tipped to be the new Brunel. He is too busy with his work for love - especially with a member of the gentry. When he meets Louise, she interests and intrigues him like no woman before. But he must make some serious decisions when he hears disturbing rumours about her.”
Handsome and enigmatic Charles Lucas – the new Brunel – is too busy for love, but when he meets Louise Thomas, she intrigues him like no woman before.
Louise is ready for love, but can she ever find a man to whom she can entrust her heart and her secret passion…

I am a member of WRDF Reader's Club. This is the second book I received! Thank you Lynda at  Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction!
The Bodyguard and the Snitch by Christy Tillery French
This is book 4 of a series and I like to read series in order so I may have to get the others!
Bodyguard Natasha Chamberlain risks more than her life when she guards a defense attorney targeted by the mafia. Protection specialist Natasha Chamberlain thinks guarding a defense attorney from a disgruntled client should be a fairly normal job, but when she learns he's been targeted by the mafia, she's ready to call it quits. However, the attorney holds her to their contract and Natasha finds her own life placed in danger along with her bodyguard cohorts, Pit and Bigun.
Natasha's fiancé Jonce Striker is fit to be tied when he learns this, which only confirms to him that the bodyguard field is too dangerous for his love. After Natasha is shot trying to protect her client, Striker delivers the final ultimatum: leave the bodyguard field or lose him. Natasha makes her choice but will she live to regret it?

I won Happy Hour by Michele Scott at a Writerspace Chat.  Ms. Scott was fun to chat with even if those chats get so fast it is hard to follow.  Thank you Writerspace and Michele!

Four friends working in Napa Valley, Sundays are for fellowship, good food and wine. Jamie is editor-in-chief at "Wine Lover's Magazine," and a single mother. Before her husband died, she lived a fairy tale life. Guilt from his death keeps her from moving forward. Kat is a sommelier, and co-owner of a restaurant with her chef husband Christian. Although deeply in love they deal with a myriad of issues, including ex-spouses, Kat's teenage sons and her new age mother Venus. Danielle is a vintner who finds herself entrenched in both an identity and family crises when her eldest daughter returns home from college with a bombshell of a secret. Alyssa is an artist and gallery owner. When a tragic past event catches up with her, she must face the skeleton in her closet and rely on her friends to see her through her darkest hours. These women discover that friendship is the right prescription to get through the hard times as well as for enjoying the wonderful moments together.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Words of Encouragment March 21, 2010

Our Pastor gave a splendid message today entitled "The Temple of Protection." In short he reminded us that God not only builds a wall of fire to protect us, He is in the Wall of Fire. Our safety is not found in the absence of danger (financial, physical or spiritual danger), but our safety, in all times of trouble, is found in the presence of God.

This song with ballet dance too is for Spring!!
Even though we still have rain and snow, there is hope in Spring. Enjoy!

A Verse for today:
Zechariah 2:5  NIV (Speaking of the City of Jerusalem)
And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,' declares the LORD, 'and I will be its glory within.'

Today I praised and acknowledged that God has all things under His control.

Happy Spring! The Garden Blooms!

I always thought Spring started March 21st but the calendar says March 20.
Happy Spring everyone.

I missed my Monthly Garden Bloom Posts on the 15th the past three months due to extreme business.  I decided to post the pictures here so you can get a feel for our nice North Florida weather.  It has been a bit colder than usual this year!
January 15 pictures:
The Chrysanthiums were surviving
as were this red berry plant - not sure what it is called.

The geranium and kalanchoe
outside my office bit the dust 
between the lack of water and
the freezing temperatures.

February 12 it snowed!

Finally in March, with lots of rain, 
the flowers are beginning to bloom again!

I hope it starts to warm up for everyone and that you have a beautiful Spring!


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