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Monday, December 31, 2012

Audio Book Review: Christmas in an Elevator by Kay Murky

This is a quick, sweet listen.

Author: Kay Murky
Narrator: R.E. Chambliss
Length: 46 minutes
Free at AudioLark
Genre:  Holiday Romance
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 
Tamara Donnelly has her mistletoe in a twist. It's bad enough her boss, Nathan Hatch, is hot enough to be Mr. August in a pin up calendar. It's worse he keeps her working late night after night. Now it's December 23rd, she's trapped in an elevator with him after hours, and she'd better keep her mind on business if she wants to keep her job.
Nathan Hatch can think of worse fates than to be stuck in an elevator with his beautiful assistant. God knows he's spent enough time wondering what she's like off the clock. They've got a bottle of brandy and a long night ahead of them, and Nathan can think of lots of interesting ways they could pass the time.A night in an elevator could be the best Christmas present ever.

I slipped this in from my  TBR, for a Just For Fun, quick Audio listen. It is a sweet holiday novella.

The scenario is somewhat predictable but nicely handled. Boss and assistant get stuck in the elevator the last night before Christmas Eve. Neither of them are dating -- Tamara had a bad experience with her last beau and Nathan is a work-a-holic who hasn’t taken time to start dating since he joined the firm five months before.  As they sit in the dark and share a bottle of brandy they share a little about themselves. Tamara explains how she will be attending the annual family Christmas Eve party where everyone will ask “where is your young man?” Although the dark and their need to be close to share warmth is tempting, they try to resist their attraction.

I was impressed that Ms. Murky was able to create pretty full characters in such a short piece. The pacing was good and the situation and dialogue realistic.

The narration is adequate if not inspiring. The voice was a bit too young sounding for my taste. If you want to fill 45 minutes with a nice easy listen this is great as a free audio.

Book Review and Giveaway: The Great Christmas Bowl by Susan May Warren

This is a quick read and a sweet, inspiring Christmas story based on a real life event.
The Great Christmas Bowl
by Susan May Warren

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 184
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 1414326785
ISBN-13: 9781414326788
Availability: Kindle Link
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: December 7, 2012
Marianne Wallace is focused on two things this holiday season: planning the greatest family Christmas ever and cheering on her youngest son’s team in their bid for the state championship. Disaster strikes when the team loses their mascot—the Trout. Is it going too far to ask her to don the costume? So what if her husband has also volunteered her to organize the church Christmas tea. When football playoffs start ramping up, the Christmas tea starts falling apart. Then, one by one her children tell her they can’t come home for Christmas. As life starts to unravel, will Marianne remember the true meaning of the holidays?


Marianne loves staging her traditional holidays with her family. She and her EMT husband, Mike, are soon to be empty-nesters as four of their children have moved away to college. The youngest son, Kevin, is in high school and has finally joined the school football team, the Big Lake Trouts.

Marianne is disappointed that only a couple of the kids are coming home for Thanksgiving but she is still excited. Meanwhile she has been cheering on the Trouts who look like they have a chance to go to the state championship! Then the team lucky cheering mascot, an older gentleman who wears a large trout costume, has a heart attack. Kevin begs his mom to step in as the replacement trout. As embarrassing as that might be, Marianne can’t refuse her son.

To add to Marianne’s harassed holiday season she has been ‘drafted’ to be the new Hospitality Chairwoman at her church. That makes her responsible to handle the annual Christmas Tea. The older ladies of the church want the usual Swedish Meetballs but some of the younger ladies want a change. Marianne suggests making her famous Clam Chowder but the idea isn’t warmly received. She keeps putting off how to handle the situation even as the day creeps closer. Kevin and Mike are busy so she ends up decorating the tree by herself and dealing with more disappointing news that her children aren’t going to make it home for Christmas.

Marianne slowly, and hilariously, wiggles into her role as the Big Lake Trout. As the team continues to win the press shows up and interviews the 'Big Trout'. Someone mentions the Christmas dinner but it comes out as a Christmas Soup, and is misinterpreted as a Soup Kitchen.  Marianne is ready to give up but surprising help turns the problem into a success.

I loved the easy flow of this story and the real-life feel. I could picture Marianne’s reluctance to be the team fish and to be the hospitality chairwoman. I could also feel her frustrations and disappointments. I loved how Kevin began to stretch and grow in a great way and how his actions shine with the good things he has been taught. The circumstances surrounding the Tea hit close to home for me as we are preparing for our annual church tea to be held in January. This one is a fun story that makes you think about the true meaning of hospitality; of serving and helping others. I recommend this as a fun read with a good message.

Marianne's dilemma with the Church Tea:
"Did  you know that the real meaning of hospitality is 'giving comfort to strangers'?"... "If we want to have a party for ourselves, then let's just call it that."
This is a fun, quick read which I picked up as a Bargain sale at CBD for our  Ladies Book Club.
This is set in Big Lake, north of Twin Cities, Minnesota for My Where Are You Reading Challenge. I will also add this to my New Author Challenge list.(I thought I read this author before but looking over her titles I do not recognize any.)

For 3 Extra Bonus entries Visit the author's website and tell me something you find of interest.

* This contest is open INTERNATIONALLY.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on January 11, 2013.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on January 12, 2013.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.

Mailbox Monday December 31, 2012

Welcome to Mailbox Monday.
FOR DECEMBER: the Mailbox Monday Tour host is Suko's Notebook!

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) but is now hosted at Mailbox Monday and through various blog hosts.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists. 

Well - the last week of 2012 and I did add more books to my ever expanding garden! 
How are your mailbox and TBR piles doing?

Before I list the books though, I have to show this wonderful BOOKMARK I received as a RAK gift from a very sweet blogger friend! This is a homemade bookmark with a little bird pendent (I love birds!) and it is such a sweet, touching gift! It came with a lovely Christmas card and a encouraging, handwritten (rarity!) letter. Thank you Miki! I will treasure the thoughts and the gift.

Review Titles
This week I picked up four review books through NetGalley invitations:

Immortal Craving (Dark Dynasties) 

by Kendra Leigh Castle 
(Rel 1/29/12)

Thomas Nelson:    

Every Perfect Gift (A Hickory Ridge Romance) 

by Dorothy Love 
(Rel 12/4/12)

Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kelly Long  (Rel 12/18/12)

by Margaret Brownley
(Rel 1/8/13)




I purchased several Sourcebooks 12 More Days of Christmas offerings for $.99 each.
Day 1 Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony
Day 2 Embrace and Entice by Jessica Shervington
Day 3 In Rides Trouble and Rev it Up by Julie Ann Walker
Day 4 Mariana and The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

I also purchased a set recommended by a friend:
Tall, Dark, and Deadly 3 book box set $1.99

From Free Book Partay 12/27:
Featured Romantic Suspense
Nights in White Satin, by Taylor Lee
His Dark Desires, by Jennifer St. Giles
Before She Dies, by Rita Herron
Walk the Right Road, by Lorhainne Eckhart
Catch Me if You Can, by Nina Bruhns

Featured Mystery, Thriller, Horror
Optical Delusions in Deadwood, by
Ann Charles
Gauntlet, by Carolyn McCray
HeartsBlood, by Carolyn McCray
Dark Lullaby, by Carolyn McCray
Targeted, by Carolyn McCray
All Hallow's Eve, by Carolyn McCray

Featured Historical Romance
The Nude, by Dorothy McFalls
Much Ado About Mavericks, by Jacquie Rogers
The Heart's Companion, by Holly Newman
Ridiculous, by D.L. Carter

More Featured Romance
Kiss of an Angel, by Janelle Denison
Provoking the Spirit, by Crista McHugh
Her Greek Romance, by Mona Risk

Featured Non-Fiction/Lighthearted/Children's
Pups in Tea Cups, by Carolyn McCray
The Creation, by Nancy Radke
Invasion of the Blue Lights, by Ruth Glick

I downloaded about 60 additional free Kindle Titles.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/31/12

This meme starts at Book Journey!

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I already miss our son, Hui and baby, but it is nice to be back home ... although we are much colder!
This week I will be working to 'catch-up' in the office.

I had a good reading week last week (flying time helped) finishing six books. I posted three reviews, one with giveaway and one with Book Blitz giveaway. I posted the regular Friday Pick Giveaway, Sharing Beyond Books Comment Giveaway and Sunday Words. (I completely forgot Saturday Snapshot Saturday morning!)

I did get to do some visiting last week which I enjoyed. 
Thanks again to all the nice people who visit me too.

These were last week's posts:
  • Book Review and ARC Giveaway: Double Danger by Dee Davis; Romantic Suspense; my rating 4.0. Ends 1/4/13

Finished Reading:
1. eBook/Kindle

Godspeed: a love story by Dan Chabot
Review linked above. Watch for Author Guest Post and Giveawy to be posted in January.

2. Print

Double Danger (An A-Tac Novel)
by Dee Davis
Review and Giveaway linked above.

3. eBook/Kindle

 Perfection Unleashed (Book 1 of the Double Helix series)
Jade Kerrion
Review and Bewitching Blog Tour Blitz with Giveaway linked above.

4. Audio

The Broken Token
by Chris Nickson (Author), Steven Pacey (Narrator)
I enjoyed this different audio and will post a review this week. Reviewing for Creative Content through AudioBook Jukebox.

5. Print

The Great Christmas Bowl
by Susan May Warren
This is a fun, quick read. I will post a review tomorrow.
Book Description
Publication Date: December 7, 2012
Marianne Wallace is focused on two things this holiday season: planning the greatest family Christmas ever and cheering on her youngest son’s team in their bid for the state championship. Disaster strikes when the team loses their mascot—the Trout. Is it going too far to ask her to don the costume? So what if her husband has also volunteered her to organize the church Christmas tea. When football playoffs start ramping up, the Christmas tea starts falling apart. Then, one by one her children tell her they can’t come home for Christmas. As life starts to unravel, will Marianne remember the true meaning of the holidays?

6. eBook/Kindle

Christmas Promises: The Christmas Eve Bride\A Marriage Proposal for Christmas\A Bride for Christmas
by Lynne Graham, Carole Mortimer, Marion Lennox
This is a delightful collection. 
I will post a review this week. 
Received from Harlequin through Netgalley. 

Line Edits: I am still working on more formats.

Currently reading:
I am just starting all of these.
1. Print

Last Chance Christmas
by Hope Ramsay
I just started this and like it already!
Reviewing for Forever, division of Hachette.

Book Description
Publication Date: September 25, 2012
Dear Reader,
I've been wishing for a miracle for my oldest boy, Stone, and this Christmas my prayers might just be answered!
Her name is Lark, and she's here in Last Chance, looking into her father's past-and stirring up a whole mess of trouble without meaning to. As the chief of police, Stone sure has his hands full trying to keep up with her. Ever since his wife died, Stone's put everything into raising his daughters and dodging the Christ Church Ladies' Auxiliary matchmakers. And it's clear Lark has been through some trouble and could use a place to finally call home. I only hope Stone can let go of the past soon enough to keep her . . .
Goodness, I need to stop talking and finish up Jane's highlights so we can make the town tree-lighting. You come back by because the Cut 'n' Curl's got hot rollers, free coffee, fresh-baked Christmas cookies-and the best gossip in town.
See you real soon,
Ruby Rhodes

2. eBook/Kindle

The Reluctant Countess: A Loveswept Historical Romance
by Wendy Vella
I liked the sound of this.
Author Q&A and Review to post for 1/9.
Reviewing for Random House.
Book Description
Publication Date: January 14, 2013
From rising romance star Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.

Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn’t add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.

Despite Sophie’s humble background, the raven-haired beauty has won Patrick’s heart. But what Sophie needs now is an ally. Viscount Myles Dumbly, the disgruntled former heir of Monmouth, is determined to expose Sophie as a fraud to recapture his lost inheritance. Soon Patrick is drawn into a fight for both their lives. Somehow he must find a way not only to rescue Sophie from poverty once and for all, but to keep her in his arms forever.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: The Escape Diaries, The Devil’s Thief, and The Magic.

3. ebook/Kindle

Rise of the Fire Tamer (The Wordwick Games #1) (An SAT Prep Dystopian Fiction)
by Kailin Gow
This looks interesting and fun.
My review will post on 1/10 as part of Book Blast Tour.
Book Description
Publication Date: March 31, 2011
After winning a contest for a popular game called Wordwick Games, five teens Gemma, Sparks, Rio, Kat, and Jack, are invited to stay at Wordwick Games inventor Henry Word's mysterious castle and play the newest level of Workwick Games. Little do they know, the castle is the doorway to a wondrous world call Anachronia where words can be used as weapons, power, and commodity. There is unrest in Anachronia, and if the five teens can follow the rules of Wordwick Games and prove to be the best player, one of them will be crowned Ruler of Anachronia. Official Book Trailer at:

Book 1 of The Wordwick Games
Book 2: The Ascension - Fall 2010
Book 3: The Return - 2011

I plan to continue listening to The Listener's Bible NIV read by Max McLean. [Reading and listening on my new MP3.] I am going back to studying with the Tyndall One Year Bible this year, hoping to read daily along with my DH.

Line Edits: I am completing one format this week and working on conversions.

I started with 15 books for December and completed 16 but still had two carry forwards.
I have listed 16 for January with Audios to be added. 
Reviews to Post this week from December:
The Great Christmas Bowl by Susan May Warren
Christmas Promises by Lynne Graham, Carole Mortimer, Marion Lennox
The Broken Token by Chris Nickson

1/3  Book Blast: Dead Running by Cami Checketts
1/4  Clear the Shelf Giveaway Hop
1/7  Guest Post Jade Kerrion (Bewitching Blog Tour)
1/8  Book Blast: The Fire Tamer by Kalin Gow
1/9  Review and Author Q&A The Reluctant Countess by Wendy Vella (Random House)
1/10 Review: The Fire Tamer by Kalin Gow (BookBlast Tour)
1/15 No Strings Giveaway Hop
1/18 Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop
1/19 Review: Dead Running by Cami Checketts (BookBlast Tour)
1/21 Book Blast: DayNight by Megan Thomason
1/23 Review: DayNight by Megan Thomason (BookBlast Tour)
1/28 Book Blast: Jack Templar: Monster Hunter by Jeff Gunhus

(dates after the author indicate the release date):
The Officer Breaks the Rules (Semper Fidelis. Always Faithful)
by Jeanette Murray (1/8/13) (Print giveaway)

Last Chance Christmas
by Hope Ramsay (carry forward) (Print giveaway)
Immortal Craving by Kendra Leigh Castle (1/29/13)

      Random House:

           The Escape Diaries by Juliet Rosetti(12/10/12)

     Thomas Nelson (Hope to post with Giveaways)
          Every Perfect Gift (A Hickory Ridge Romance)
by Dorothy Love(12/4/12)
         An Amish Kitchen Anthology/Collection (12/18/12)
         Waiting for Morning (The Brides Of Last Chance Ranch Series) by Margaret Brownley (1/8/13)

Audiobook Jukebox
I am requesting new books. 

The Blessed and the Damned (Righteous Series #4) by Michael Wallace (carry forward) (10/2/12)
The Publicist by Christina George (12/3/12)

Ladies Book Club (Will post with Giveaways)
(The Great Christmas Bowl by Susan May Warren - done)
The Perfect Match (Hometown Mysteries)
by Janice Hanna

(I'm thinking I'd like to do a title with January or Winter in it for one of these)
TBR Collection - TBD
Won Book - TBD
Free Kindle/Nook or Smashwords - TBD

Sunday Words of Encouragement December 30, 2012

Although we enjoyed two wonderfully spirited services while visiting in Hawaii, I am glad to be back to our 'home' church. We had, as always, a good Sunday School lesson  - I think our teacher really meditates on God's word and is inspired when he shares with us. (Thank you GT.)

Our Pastor asked a question for the Sermon today. It is perfect to complete the arrival of Christ after the waiting and anticipating through Advent. It is also perfect for looking forward to the adventures - ups and downs- of a new year.  The question is: Is God really in control?

(These are my thoughts inspired by Pastor's message.) If you believe that God is in control, then you do not need to worry; you should not hold onto problems but ask for His help in big and little things.  You can TRUST that He loves you, He created you, He knows your needs better than you do and He has a particular plan for your life; He sees the completed tapestry while we struggle to untangle the threads. He has provided a Savior to intercede for you, to pay your sin debt, and make a way for you. He not only covers, but washes away your darkness to allow you to come before Him clean and unblemished so He can welcome you to share in His Kingdom and eternal life. There are no 'ifs, buts or excepts' believe and trust with assurance or you suffer the ravages of the trials of this world with no hope of something better.

I have to say that I am blessed when I go searching for songs for my Sunday posts! Today I have chosen a song that was new to me. It seems so fitting first because it recognizes that Jesus is here but also because I can relate to the precious gift of our new granddaughter, Victoria Joy.  A baby is so amazing and to think that our Savior came into the world so helpless but with the divine purpose to save us.
It is truly awe inspiring to me and I find this beautiful.

A Verse for Today:
Psalm 71:5 NIV
O Lord, you alone are my hope. I've trusted you, O LORD, from childhood.

My prayer today: Thank you Lord for all that you have done for me and how richly you have blessed me. Please be in control of my life, not only for 2013 but at all times; allow your light to shine through me, to bring glory to you.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Winner of Hunk for the Holidays

Giveaway Ended December 28, 2012 

Cassandra please fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me at mesreads AT to confirm the win and I'll get the book mailed.  Please reply within 72 hours!  

Sharing Beyond Books #80 Comment Giveaway December 29, 2012

Hello and Welcome to another SBB!

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and received at least one surprise gift. :-)
 It's the last Saturday of 2012! Are you ready for 2013??
Thank you to all who shared last week.

Many of us are reading both ebooks and print but the print book is still preferred by the greater majority - 11 out of 18 commenters. Even though many of us do like the convenience of our e-readers, we still 'prefer' print books! Many commented they like the "smell" of print books. :-)

There didn't seem to be any really special gift expectations among us. Several people were hoping to get Books or GCs. Some were hoping for beauty products or perfume. It was nice that Linda already got a handbag she wanted as a special gift from her sister, Di got a special framed photo to give to her sister and nrlymrtl made homemade jams and jellies which sounds like a very nice gift.


The Winner from SBB #79 comments is: #12 Tore. There are still 5 'love' books to pick from and new Christmas choices. Tore please choose a book (or GC if international) from the remaining five Love Books List for Giveaway, the new Christmas Giveaway Book list, OR pick from the Updated ARC/Review List and let me know your choice, your address and a choice of bookmarks by completing the WINNER FORM.

WEEK #80 Questions

Q1. Di asks a great question for the start of a new year: Since we are going into a new year - how about - what one time project do you hope to complete in 2013? It could be attending a class for a new skill, redo the kitchen, travel to a unique place to visit??
This is hard to answer as I have to think of a "one time project" and most of my plans would be (or could be ) more than once. But I did think of one that would most likely happen only once during the year! LOL
While we were away our daughter and a friend came in and did a BIG cleaning job on our house. They threw out a lot and bagged lots of things for GoodWill. But they didn't get to my closet or my husband's. So - I want them to return to be ruthless with me in clearing out our dresser drawers and closet! I plan on using big bag for throw away and big boxes for donate!
Image found at The Upside of Downsizing.

Q2. My  book question this week: Which would you choose to review: A new to you author or favorite author??
A: I am facing this dilemma as I work up my 2013 review scheduling plan. I have read so many new authors over the past three years that I am missing some old favorites. I do tend to pick more "new to me authors" for review choices. So my solution will be to include at least one favorite author book each month to help me get in some TBR collections! ... Bottom-line:  my choice is --- both. *smile*
 This image fits, don't you think?
The old song: "Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold."
Image found at peoplefinders Blog

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! I STILL HAVE A GROUP OF QUESTIONS AVAILABLE BUT THEY ARE FROM ABOUT FOUR PEOPLE SO SOME OF YOU MAY WANT TO ADD A QUESTION OR TWO! We can always use fresh questions.
December Questions were submitted by: BIRGIT, WINNIE, ABBY, MARJORIE and DI. picked 5 so DI gets a book choice!

Your turn to share:

1. Di asks: Since we are going into a new year - how about - what one time project do you hope to complete in 2013? It could be attending a class for a new skill, redo the kitchen, travel to a unique place to visit??

2. My Question: Which would you choose to review: A new to you author or favorite author??

SBB Comment Winners can choose a selection from the remaining Valentine and "Love" books (5 left) or the new Christmas Giveaway Books. Also I have added the Updated ARC/Review List now.

SBB Rules:
a) Must be a follower.
b) Share a comment on any (or all) of the two/three questions 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 by Friday, January 4, 2013 at 10 PM central.

Blog Tour Blitz with Giveaway: Double Helix Series by Jade Kerrion

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Book Review: Perfection Unleashed by Jade Kerrion

This is an intense and engaging science fiction.
  • File Size: 893 KB
  • Print Length: 213 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1469980355
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Genre: Science Fiction
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: June 23, 2012
What would you do if you came face-to-face with perfection, and it looked just like you?

Two men, one face. One man seeks to embrace destiny, the other to escape it.

Danyael Sabre spent sixteen years clawing out of the ruins of his childhood and finally has everything he wanted--a career, a home, and a trusted friend. To hold on to them, he keeps his head down and plays by the rules. An alpha empath, he is powerful in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, yet his experience has taught him to avoid attention.

When the perfect human being, Galahad, escapes from Pioneer Laboratories, the illusory peace between humans and their derivatives--the in vitros, clones, and mutants--collapses into social upheaval. The abominations, deformed and distorted mirrors of humanity, created unintentionally in Pioneer Lab's search for perfection, descend upon Washington D.C. The first era of the Genetic Revolution was peaceful. The second is headed for open war.

Although the genetic future of the human race pivots on Galahad, Danyael does not feel compelled to get involved and risk his cover of anonymity, until he finds out that the perfect human being looks just like him.

This is full of a variety of characters and human derivatives – clones, mutants, in vitros and a genetically created ‘perfect human’, Galahad.  Zara is a human who has teamed up with Xin (a clone) to get DNA from Galahad. But when Zara breaks into Pioneer Lab she becomes attracted to Galahad and decides to rescue him from the lab-prison where he has been raised for the past 25 years. As Zara modifies her objectives, a pro-life mob headed by a bitter and zealous Jason Rakehell, the son of Roland Rakehell, one of the founders of Pioneer Lab, attacks the lab.

Zara and Galahad escape with injuries to Galahad. In their zeal the mob releases five other specimens--monster abominations--who tear through all the humans attacking the lab and break out.

Zara and Xin take Galahad to the estate of Lucien, an in vitro, who is extremely wealthy and influential. He calls in a life long friend, Danyael, who is a mutant alpha empath and healer. Danyael was abused as a child and had to be trained to compartmentalize his feelings with shields or his thoughts will cause those around him to commit suicide.  He has always tried to work in a public medical system and to avoid attention.  Everyone is shocked when they realize that Danyael and Galahad look like twins!

Fighting breaks out between humans and mutants in Washington, D.C. as a result of the Pro-human attack and hostilities. Meanwhile the abominations are seeking their ‘brother’ creature, Galahad, and killing anyone who gets in their way. The Mutant Counsel sends Miriya, a telepath, to help protect Danyael who is sought after by several rival forces because of his extensive powers. Now the group is trying to protect Galahad and Danyael as the government, opposing forces and the Rackhells, son and father, try to track them down.

This book reminded me a bit of X-Men with all the rivals and bitter hostilities. There are conflicting interests, intense emotions and overt and subtle betrayals. Galahad’s treatment and Danyael’s sufferings evoke sympathy for their characters. The writing is clean and the pacing good. Zara isn't my favorite character because of her dislike and misconceptions regarding Danyael.  I am rooting for the whole team although it is clear that there are more obstacles to face and more pain for Danyael in the next book. I am anxious to see what happens next.  If you like mutant characters with powers and a story with lots of emotion and actions, I highly recommend this book.

My word thoughts noted: action, emotion, compelling, betrayal.
Danyael’s strengths are continually taxed:
He needed to relax for a few minutes,.... He did not have the time for that, not with so much at stake, and so many questions that demanded answers he did not have. I can resst in a few hours. I can do this....Location 939.
Galahad is grateful to Zara:
“You’ve always been free, and it’s hard to express how much what you did–even if on a whim–means to someone who has never been free.  Location 2175.
I received this title for an honest review as part of a Bewitching Blog Tour. 
This is set in Washington, D.C. I will also add it to my New Author Challenge lists.

 See the additional post for more Blitz info and Giveaway. I will also be hosting an Author Guest Post on January 7.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Martha's Bookshelf***Friday Pick December 28, 2012

[** If you are new to Friday Pick Giveaway - Welcome!  Scroll down a bit (below book group #19) for instructions on how to enter.]

Happy FridayThanks for being patient and understanding why this is posting late today as we were flying home last night. We had a lovely vacation but it is nice to be home... I am soon heading for a nap!

Is everyone ready to start a new year next week??

Thank you to all who entered the December 21 Pick. There were two automatic winners this week (those who requested the book four times and I did not note other people asking for that book during those weeks). Once again, three titles were blocked picks this week.

June M chose Hannibal Rising
Linda K chose The Days of Summer

to picked Winners from December 21 Pick:

Michelle130 won Everything to Gain

Mary P gets a GC

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 or sexy and I have a new supply of sweet bookmarks.
Here's toasting to a wonderful, book-filled, 2013!
Image found at On The Write Track.

New Book Group #34 December 7, 2012.
*asterisks indicate lighter, smaller books possibly suitable for international mailing

Fern Michaels
    Payback and Full Me Once
Luanne Rice
    Silver Bells (spine wear) and True Blue
Janet Evanovich
    Full Tilt and Full Bloom
Linda Howard:
    Duncan's Bride and Again Forever
Dark Desires After Dark by Kresley Cole       
All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins
Savage Thunder by Johanna Lindsey (Cover is loose)
Angel's Peak by Robyn Carr
Captain's Woman by Merline Lovelace (This is a favorite author and book of mine)
*Death in High Heels by Christina Brand
*From Doon With Death: The First Inspector Wexford Novel by Ruth Rendell
*Mrs Mallory and the Silent Killer by Hazel Holt

New Book Group #33 October 27, 2012
*asterisks indicate lighter, smaller books possibly suitable for international mailing
Gena Showalter:
     The Darkest Kiss and the Darkest Night
Mary Balogh:
     Simply Perfect and A Summer to Remember
Tami Hoag:
     Ashes to Ashes and A Thin Dark Line (Both have spine creasing)
Dick Francis:
     10 LB Penalty and Risk
Tom Clancy:
     Op-Center State of Siege and Op-Center Mission of Honor
SINGLES - CHRISTMAS TITLES (Better sizes for international) 
*A Gift of Murder by M.D. Lake  (slight spine creasing)
*The Mistletoe Wager by Christine Merrill
*Deck the Halls by Arlene James (slight spine creasing)
*A Holiday Prayer by Deb Kastner  (slight spine creasing)
*A Family for Christmas by Kate Welsh  (slight spine creasing)
*A Regency Christmas Anthology - Lyn Stone, Carla Kelly and Gail Rainstorm

New Book Group #32 October 5, 2012

 Demon's Fire by Emma Holly
- Oops upside down book! 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 - A Courtesans Guide to Getting Your Man by Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley
The Gift by Constance O'Day-Flannery
The Days of Summer by Jill Barnett
Tangled by Mary Balogh
Please Remember This by Katleen Giles Seidel
Twice Upon Time by Nina Beaumont
Angel of Midnight  by JoAnn Power (auto win 11/30)
Heart of the Hawk by Justine Dare
[One for the Money by Janet Evanovich]
Touchstone by Linda Hilton
Restless Hearts by Marta Perry
Rogue Stallion by Diana Palmer
The Boy's Tale (Sister Frevisse Medieval Mysteries) by Margaret Frazer
Calculated Revenge by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
A Delecate Deception by Jenna Jones

New Book Group #31 August 31, 2012
I pulled some more books from several of my boxes.

An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers (spine creases)
Beautiful Dreamer by Elizabeth Lowell

New Book Group #30 July 27, 2012
This time I pulled some books from one of my older boxes.
*asterisks indicate lighter, smaller books possibly suitable for international mailing

The Willful Widow by Valerie King (spine wear)
Wild Escapade by Lisa Bingham
Dancing on Snowflakes by Jane Bonander
Mistress by Amanda Quick - Audio Cassettes
*Long Time Coming by Sandra Brown

New Book Group #29 June 29, 2012
*asterisks indicate lighter, smaller books possibly suitable for international mailing

Magic: The Gathering Distant Planes, An Anthology
*One is the Lonliest Number - Tom Clancey's Net Force

New Book Group #28 May 18, 2012
*asterisks indicate lighter, smaller books suitable for international.
Wanna Get Lucky? by Deborah Coonts
Sleeping Alone by Barbara Bretton

New book Group #27 April 13, 2012 (All gone)
Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris (spine damage)
*The Dream Horse by Virginia Campbell Scott

New book Group #26 March 2, 2012--- (All gone)

New Group #25 January 12, 2012---(All gone)

New Group #24 Pick Books November 25, 2011---(All gone)

New Group #23 Pick Books October 14, 2011
I tried to pick some books that would be good for October -
Halloween or dark minded.
Ghost Writer (Shivers #3) by M.D. Spenser
Emily's Good Nightmare by Cosmic Debris Cosmic

New Group #22 Pick Books September 2, 2011---(All gone)

New Group #21 of Pick Books July 29, 2011
Mallory's Oracle (Kathleen Mallory Novels) by Carol O'Connell

May, 2011 New Group of Pick books Group #20
Luciano's Luck by Jack Higgins - Audio Cassettes

3/25/11 I did get to set up a new group of books: Group #19
Primary Colors - audio tapes
*Note of Peril (black strip on cover)

2/19/11 Book Group #18- Pairs!---(All gone).

I have finally updated the intro and Entry paragraphs here:

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 in November 27, 2009 and in three years I have posted 33 groups of 16 (528) books to find new homes! (November 2012)

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! I am happy to say that so far about 450 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.

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 $5.00 and $6.00 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)

Leave a comment and tell me WHICH BOOK you would like to get from the Friday Pick lists.
CUT OFF TIME IS 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 Friday mornings with the next Pick post.
Automatic wins are those who requested the book four times and I did not note other people asking for that book during those weeks.
WINNERS PLEASE CHECK THE WIN POST ON FRIDAYS AND fill in the Winner's Acceptance Form or email me at [I will confirm receipt of the addresses- well I realize I haven't always done this. But if you filled out the form and don't get the book within two weeks nudge me with an email please!] If I have the winners e-mail I will send a reminder in a week or so....

Thanks for helping these books find new homes!!

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!

1/14/11 New List #17--- (All gone)

12/3/10 Book Set: #16
Sleight of Hand by Robin Hathaway
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

List #15---(All gone)

List #14---(All gone)

Here is set #13 of Used books!
Pearl Beyond Price by Claire Delacroix

Group #12---(All gone)

Group #11
Cat's Eyewitness by Rita Mae Brown
Alien Chronicles - The Crimson Claw by Deborah Chester
Looking Back by Belva Plain

List #1
Circle of Stars by Anna Lee Waldo

Pick #2---(All gone)

Pick #3---(All gone)

Pick #4
Talking God by Tony Kellerman
Everything to Gain by Barbara Taylor Bradford
The Shadow by Shelley Munro (PA)

Pick #5
See Jane Lead by Lois P. Frankel
Cold Hit by Linda Fairstein - Audio Tapes

Pick #6---(All gone)

Pick #7
Prey by Michael Crichton - Audio Tape
Princess Charming by Jane Heller (slightly creased)

Pick #8
(sc) = slightly creased on binding otherwise all in good shape
The Jury by Steve Martini - Audio Tapes
No Safe Place by Richard North Patterson - Audio Tapes

Pick #9
On Treacherous Ground by Earl Murray
Guardian by Dee Henderson - Audio Tapes
Time to Hunt by Stephen Hunter - Audio Tapes

Pick #10---(All Gone)


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